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A conservative approach for species delimitation based on multi-locus DNA sequences: a case study of the genus Giraffa (Mammalia, Cetartiodactyla)

Molecular data are now commonly used in taxonomy for delimiting cryptic species. In the case of giraffes, which were treated as a single species (Giraffa camelopardalis) during half of a century, several molecular studies have suggested a splitting into four to seven species, but the criteria applied for taxonomic delimitation were not fully described. In this study, we have analysed all multi-locus DNA sequences available for giraffes using multispecies coalescent (MSC: *BEAST, BPP and STACEY), population genetic (STRUCTURE, allelic networks,

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