Why is the giraffe an example of evolution?

Asked By: Abdou Peñaherrera | Last Updated: 20th April, 2020
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The accepted theory on giraffe evolution is that the giraffes with the longest necks passed on their genes through natural selection, and that it took millions of years to get the animal we see now. The two forces that drove giraffes towards elongating their necks are simple. The need to eat and the need to breed.

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Likewise, how would Darwin explain the evolution of giraffes?

In terms of the giraffe example, Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection would suggest that a giraffe was born with a longer neck by random chance. Having access to more food allowed the giraffe to live longer and reproduce more, ultimately leading to more long-neck giraffes.

Beside above, what animal did the giraffe evolve from? Some scientists have long presumed today's giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis, right), which includes a handful of subspecies scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, evolved from an animal that looked like its close cousin the okapi (Okapia johnstoni, left), which lives in the tropical forests of central Africa.

In this way, why did giraffes necks get longer?

The latest theory – and it's a surprise this hasn't come up before, given biologists' fixation with it – is that the long necks are the result of sexual selection: that is, they evolved in males as a way of competing for females. Male giraffes fight for females by “necking”.

How would Lamarck explain giraffes?

If a giraffe stretched its neck for leaves, for example, a "nervous fluid" would flow into its neck and make it longer. Lamarck believed that the long necks of giraffes evolved as generations of giraffes reached for ever higher leaves.

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Are giraffes necks getting shorter?

But although their necks can measure up to 1.8 metres (6 feet) alone, they have, like most mammals, just seven neck vertebrae. Fossil evidence shows that, once upon a time, giraffes had much shorter necks. Lamarck's idea suggested they stretched their necks and passed the stretching down through generations.

What is Lamarck's theory of evolution?

Lamarckism, a theory of evolution based on the principle that physical changes in organisms during their lifetime—such as greater development of an organ or a part through increased use—could be transmitted to their offspring.

Why did Lamarck theory get rejected?

Lamarck's theory of evolution, also called as theory of inheritance of acquired characters was rejected since he suggested that the acquired character which an organisms gain through its life experiences are transferred to its next generation, which is not possible since acquired characters does not bring any change to

What was wrong about Lamarck's theory?


Lamarck believed that the stretching elongated the giraffe's neck, which became a useful characteristic and was passed onto future generations. This resulted in the length of the giraffe's neck increasing over time. It is now commonly accepted that Lamarck's ideas were wrong.

What is Charles Darwin's theory of evolution?

Darwinism is a theory of biological evolution developed by the English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809–1882) and others, stating that all species of organisms arise and develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive, and reproduce.

What was Darwin's theory of natural selection?

In 1859, Charles Darwin set out his theory of evolution by natural selection as an explanation for adaptation and speciation. He defined natural selection as the "principle by which each slight variation [of a trait], if useful, is preserved".

Where did Darwin study evolution?

He transferred to Christ's College, Cambridge, in 1828, where his mentors mostly endorsed the idea of providential design. A botany professor suggested he join a voyage on the HMS Beagle—a trip that would provide him with much of his evidence for the theory of evolution by natural selection.

What causes a long neck?

Wry neck, or torticollis, is a painfully twisted and tilted neck. The top of the head generally tilts to one side while the chin tilts to the other side. This condition can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired. It can also be the result of damage to the neck muscles or blood supply.

Can giraffes bend their neck?


The giraffe is the tallest mammal in the world. A giraffe's neck is too short to reach the ground. To drink, giraffe first have to splay their forelegs and/or bend their knees, and only then can they lower their necks to reach the surface of the water. Giraffe only drink once every few days.

What is the hair on a giraffe neck called?

Every giraffe has two hair-covered horns called ossicones. Male giraffes use their horns to playfully fight with one another. They also spar by swinging their heads at one another and entwining their necks, which is called "necking." [ Images: Animals' Dazzling Headgear]

What did the Okapi evolve from?

The common ancestor of the okapi and giraffe lived about 16 million years ago. This ancestor, known as Canthumeryx, had an elongated neck, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

How does having a long neck help the giraffe to feed itself?

Their very long necks are an adaption to feeding at high levels in the treetops. Their physical adaption, a long neck, does not only help them to graze but also helps them keep track of predators and it enables visual communication with other giraffe over several miles.

How much Bones does a giraffe have in its neck?

How many bones are there in a giraffe's neck? Just like humans, giraffes have seven neck vertebrae. For giraffes, however, each one can be over 10 inches (25.4 centimeters) long!

What is the process of evolution?


The theory of evolution by natural selection, first formulated in Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, is the process by which organisms change over time as a result of changes in heritable physical or behavioral traits.

What are giraffe spots called?

A giraffe's spots are much like human fingerprints. No two individual giraffes have exactly the same pattern. Both male and female giraffes have two distinct, hair-covered horns called ossicones.

Are giraffes dangerous?

Giraffes are very dangerous animals. They could hurt you seriously, very quickly.”