Illustration compares males of the ancient giraffoid species butting heads (foreground) with modern giraffe males fighting (background). Illustration: Wang Yu and Guo Xiaocong
Illustration compares males of the ancient giraffoid species butting heads (foreground) with modern giraffe males fighting (background). Illustration: Wang Yu and Guo Xiaocong
Science

Why do giraffes have long necks? It could have been to fight for mates

  • Scientists have puzzled over how the mammals got their necks – it’s commonly believed evolution was driven by competition for food
  • But an analysis of fossils from 17 million years ago suggests early ancestor’s fierce headbutting was ‘likely the primary driving force’

Illustration compares males of the ancient giraffoid species butting heads (foreground) with modern giraffe males fighting (background). Illustration: Wang Yu and Guo Xiaocong
Illustration compares males of the ancient giraffoid species butting heads (foreground) with modern giraffe males fighting (background). Illustration: Wang Yu and Guo Xiaocong
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