name = Giraffidae
fossil_range = Early Miocene - Recent

image_width = 200px
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Artiodactyla
familia = Giraffidae
familia_authority = Gray, 1821
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision ="Okapia"

*"Okapia johnstoni""Giraffa
*"Giraffa camelopardalis"

The giraffids are ruminant artiodactyl mammals that share a common ancestor with deer and bovids. The biological family Giraffidae, once a diverse group spread throughout Eurasia and Africa, contains only two living members, the giraffe and the okapi. Both are confined to sub-saharan Africa: the giraffe to the open savannas, and the okapi to the dense rainforest of the Congo. The two species look very different on first sight, but share a number of common features, including a long, dark-coloured tongue, lobed canine teeth, and horns covered in skin, called "ossicones".

Giraffids share many common features with other ruminants. They have cloven hooves and cannon bones, much like bovids, and a complex, four-chambered stomach. They have no upper incisors or canines, replacing them with a tough, horny pad. There is an especially long diastema between the front and cheek teeth. The latter are selenodont, adapted for grinding up tough plant matter. cite book |editor=Macdonald, D.|author= Pellew, Robin|year=1984 |title= The Encyclopedia of Mammals|publisher= Facts on File|location=New York|pages= 534-541|isbn= 0-87196-871-1] Like most other ruminants, the dental formula for giraffids is: dentition2||

The behavior of the two living species shows little commonality, probably because of their different habitats and ecology.

Their closest fossil relatives include the deer-like palaeomerycids and the climacocerids, many genera of the latter having once been identified as giraffes themselves.

Fossil records indicate that many other giraffids thrived between the Miocene era (around 20 million years ago) and the recent past. One major group of extinct giraffids, the sivatheres, had enormous branching ossicones, and would have looked more like massive deer than giraffes.


** Suborder Suina: pigs, hippos and peccaries
** Suborder Tylopoda: camels and llamas
** Suborder Ruminantia
*** Infraorder Tragulina
**** Family Tragulidae: chevrotains
*** Infraorder Pecora
**** Family Moschidae: musk deer
**** Family Cervidae: deer
**** Family Antilocapridae: Pronghorn
**** Family Bovidae: cattle, goats, sheep, and antelope
**** Superfamily Giraffoidea
***** Family Climacoceratidae
****** †"Climacoceras"
****** †"Prolibytherium"
***** Family Giraffidae
****** †"Bohlinia"
****** Giraffe, "Giraffa camelopardalis"
****** †"Giraffokeryx"
****** †"Helladotherium"
****** †"Honanotherium"
****** Okapi, "Okapia johnstoni"
****** †"Paleotragus"
****** †"Sivatherium"
****** †"Samotherium"
****** †"Shansitherium"
****** (and many other genera)

See also



External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Giraffidae — prop. n. The natural family of mammals including the giraffes. Syn: family {Giraffidae}. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Giraffidae — Giraffidés Une tête de g …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Giraffidae —   Giraffidae Okapi (Okapia …   Wikipedia Español

  • Giraffidae — Giraffenartige Okapi Systematik Klasse: Säugetiere (Mammalia) Unterklasse: Höhere Säug …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Giraffidae — žirafiniai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas taksono rangas šeima apibrėžtis Šeimoje 2 gentys. Kūno masė – 250 750 kg. atitikmenys: lot. Giraffidae angl. giraffes; giraffes and okapis vok. Giraffen rus. жирафовые pranc. girafes; girafidés… …   Žinduolių pavadinimų žodynas

  • Giraffidae — noun giraffes • Syn: ↑family Giraffidae • Hypernyms: ↑mammal family • Member Meronyms: ↑Giraffa, ↑genus Giraffa, ↑Okapia, ↑genus Okapia …   Useful english dictionary

  • Giraffidae — …   Википедия

  • Giraffidae — Girạffidae,   die Giraffen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Семейство Жирафы (Giraffidae) —          Семейство жирафов имеет богатое прошлое: возникнув в раннем миоцене из оленеподобных копытных, оно достигло расцвета в позднем миоцене и особенно в плиоцене, т. е. около 10 миллионов лет назад. Ископаемые жирафовые были представлены… …   Биологическая энциклопедия

  • family Giraffidae — noun giraffes • Syn: ↑Giraffidae • Hypernyms: ↑mammal family • Member Meronyms: ↑Giraffa, ↑genus Giraffa, ↑Okapia, ↑genus Okapia …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.