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DNA analysis reveals there are four distinct giraffe species, not one as previously thought.

Stashed in: Science!, Awesome, Endangered Species, DNA

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Some groups are as genetically different from one another as brown bears are from polar bears.

Here's the paper in Current Biology:

Top Reddit comment:

Northern giraffe, for example, number less than 4,750 individuals in the wild, and reticulated giraffe number less than 8,700 individuals. As distinct species, that makes them some of the most endangered large mammals in the world and of high conservation importance.

So by breaking up all giraffes into the four separate species, it effectively makes each species much more endangered. I guess if more importance is placed on conserving each species, that could be a really good thing.

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