Visually, they are hardly distinguishable, but genetic analyses show: There are four distinct species of giraffe and seven subspecies. This result was obtained by an international team led by Prof. Dr. Axel Janke from the LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics. According to their comprehensive genome analyses, the four giraffe lineages have been evolving separately for thousands of years. Relationships within the genus of giraffes have been debated before. For a long time, it was assumed that there was one, then four and later three species. The study published in the scientific journal “Current Biology” provides new insights into the evolution of giraffes and relevant information for their adequate conservation in Africa. Read the article in „Current Biology” and the press release at Senckenberg. (Photo: Julian Fennessy, Giraffe Conservation Foundation)

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