Scientists surprised to discover two dwarf giraffes in Namibia, Uganda


JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Being tall is the giraffe's competitive advantage, giving it the pick of leaves from the tallest trees, so scientists were stunned to find two giraffe dwarves on different sides of Africa.


Most giraffes grow to 15 - 20 feet (4.5 - 6 metres), but in 2018, scientists working with the foundation discovered an 8 1/2-foot (2.6 metre) giraffe in Namibia.Three years earlier, they had also found a 9-foot 3-inch (2.8 metre) giraffe in a Ugandan wildlife park.

大多数长颈鹿会长到15 - 20英尺(4.5 - 6米),但在2018年,与基金会合作的科学家在纳米比亚发现了一只8.5英尺(2.6米)的长颈鹿。三年前,他们还在乌干达野生动物园发现了一只9英尺3英寸(2.8米)的长颈鹿。

They published their findings in the British Medical Journal at the end of last month.


In both cases, the giraffes had the standard long necks but short, stumpy legs, the paper said.Skeletal dysplasia, the medical name for the condition, affects humans and domesticated animals, but the paper said it was rare to see in wild animals.


Numbers of the world's tallest mammal have declined by some 40% over the past 30 years to around 111,000, so all four species are classified by conservationists as 'vulnerable'.


"It's because of mostly habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, growing human populations, more land being cultivated," Fennessy said."Combined with a little bit of poaching, climate change".


But conservation efforts have helped numbers start to recover in the past decade, he added.