Dwarf Giraffes Discovered In The Wild For The First Time

When most people think about giraffes, they think about an animal with a long neck that is able to reach the top of the tallest tree. As it turns out, a dwarf version of the giraffe does exist and they saw them for the first time.

Two dwarf giraffes were discovered by scientists in Namibia and Uganda. Rather than being 16 feet tall, like their supersized cousins, they are only 8’6″ and 9’4″ tall.

Uganda’s Muchison Falls National Park is the location where a dwarf giraffe was spotted for the first time in December 2015. In May 2018, a second dwarf giraffe was seen.

If it isn’t interesting enough that dwarf giraffes do exist, their necks are about 5 feet long. That is the same size as a standard giraffe. What makes them so small is their body, which is similar to a horse.

The findings were posted by researchers in the journal BMC Research Notes. According to the report, they feel that the dwarf giraffes suffer from a skeletal disorder, similar to skeletal dysplasia. It has been seen in different animals, but observations of this skeletal disorder in wild animals are rare.

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Michael B. Brown, co-author of the study said according to IFLScience that they aren’t sure why skeletal dysplasia is a problem with these giraffes. He continues: “we speculate that these skeletal dysplasias may be associated with some genetic disorder.”

Like many animals with physical disabilities, the dwarf giraffes may have difficulties to overcome. According to a report in the New York Times, Brown said that they may be more susceptible to predators, and mating would be a challenge.

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