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The cervical anatomy of Samotherium, an intermediate-necked giraffid

Giraffidae are represented by many extinct species. The only two extant taxa possess diametrically contrasting cervical morphology, as the okapi is short-necked and the giraffe is exceptionally long-necked. Samotherium major, known from the Late Miocene of Samos in Greece and other Eurasian localities, is a key extinct giraffid; it possesses cervical vertebrae that are intermediate in the evolutionary elongation of the neck. We describe detailed anatomical features of the cervicals of S. major, and compare these characteristics with the vertebrae

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Fossil evidence and stages of elongation of the Giraffa camelopardalis neck

Several evolutionary theories have been proposed to explain the adaptation of the long giraffe neck; however, few studies examine the fossil cervical vertebrae. We incorporate extinct giraffids, and the okapi and giraffe cervical vertebral specimens in a comprehensive analysis of the anatomy and elongation of the neck. We establish and evaluate 20 character states that relate to general, cranial and caudal vertebral lengthening, and calculate a length-to-width ratio to measure the relative slenderness of the vertebrae. Our sample includes cervical

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Modified neck muscular system of the giraffe (Giraffe camelopardalis)

The muscular and skeletal systems of the long neck were morphologically examined in order to clarify their modification and their functional significant in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). The longissimus, the thoracic and cervical, spinalis and semispinalis, the cranial and caudal head oblique, and the multifidius muscles, and the nuchal ligament were observed at their origin and insertion. The atlas, axis, and the third cervical vertebrae were measured and examined. The modified spinous process provided the large attachment surface for strong

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