Giraffe is now four species

  1. Profile photo of Vladimir Dinets
    Vladimir Dinets 11 months ago

    This is not the first such paper, and it has the same problem as all previous ones: not all subspecies have been sampled. I don’t know why they didn’t sample them all; the missing subspecies are available in captivity. It’s been clear for decades that the 3 subspecies present in Kenya behave like full species; I also suspect that the extreme difference between Maasai and reticulated giraffes is due to character displacement. So it is still unclear how many species are there, and how many subspecies. I think it’s pretty safe to split giraffes into four species at this point, but it remains to be seen if there’s more.

  2. Profile photo of Vladimir Dinets
    Vladimir Dinets 11 months ago

    Since my previous comments have disappeared, here’s a summary.
    1. Sorry, I first looked at a wrong paper. The new one provides sufficient evidence for a 4-way split. I already updated my checklist 🙂
    2. But I don’t think they provide sufficient evidence for lumping of some subspecies, and I find the idea of “killing” subspecies that are clearly separate morphologically based on genetic data to be fundamentally flawed and dangerous.

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