The Brain of the Giraffe (Giraffa Camelopardalis): Surface Configuration, Encephalization Quotient, and Analysis of the Existing Literature

The anatomy of the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis Linnaeus, 1758) has been poorly studied, except for the circulatory system. In particular, only a handful of studies have concerned the brain of this species since the first description in 1839. Accordingly, only a very few articles discussing encephalization mentioned the giraffe or used it in their calculations. In this article, we performed a thorough examination of the literature including old and grey, regarding the central nervous system of the giraffe. Furthermore, we examined the brain of 3 giraffes, and calculated the encephalization quotient (EQ) of the species, based on our own data and the values found in the literature. We also revised the pre-existing literature and re-mapped the main sulci based on current comparative interpretation and anatomical nomenclature. Our results were compared to those of other selected significant mammals. The mean brain weight was of 719.9612.5 g. Our data indicate that the EQ of the giraffe is 0.64 and matches that of the typical ungulate, despite having the largest brain among terrestrial Cetartiodactyla. This emphasizes that the giraffe is a highly specialized mammal, within the limitations of its clad.

Publish DateApril 18, 2021
Last UpdatedApril 18, 2021