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The extinct, giant giraffid Sivatherium giganteum: skeletal reconstruction and body mass estimation

Sivatherium giganteum is an extinct giraffid from the Plio–Pleistocene boundary of the Himalayan foothills. To date, there has been no rigorous skeletal reconstruction of this unusual mammal. Historical and contemporary accounts anecdotally state that Sivatherium rivalled the African elephant in terms of its body mass, but this statement has never been tested. Here, we present a three-dimensional composite skeletal reconstruction and calculate a representative body mass estimate for this species using a volumetric method. We find that the estimated adult

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On the origin, evolution and phylogeny of giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis

The origin, phylogeny, and evolution of modern giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) is obscure. We review here the literature and conclude that the proximate ancestors of modern giraffes probably evolved in southern central Europe about 8 million years ago (Mya). These ancestors appear to have arisen from the gelocid ancestral assemblage of 20–25 Mya via the family Palaeomerycidae. From the palaeomerycids arose the Antilocaprinae (Pronghorns) via the subfamily Dromomerycinae, and two subfamilies of giraffids, the Climacoceratidae and Canthumerycidae. The terminal genus of

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