The cervical anatomy of Samotherium,an intermediate-necked giraffid
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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 ofS. major, and compare these characteristics with the vertebrae of the two extant giraffid taxa.
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