The composition of the giraffe cervical vertebrae allow feeding equally at shoulder level and at higher levels up to five meters

In C2, the cranial and caudal widths are fairly equivalent, and there is a deep constriction slightly rostral to the centre. In C3-C5, the ventral vertebral body and intertubercular plate is rhomboidal-formed, exactly where the caudal edge is more laterally expanded than the rostral aspect. In C6, the ventral vertebral entire body is square-shaped, with the lateral edges parallel to 1 another. In C7, the ventral vertebral entire body alone is rectangular-formed, and the transverse procedures protrude laterally at the centre. From C2-C5, there is a unique ventral ridge at midline, which is constant longitudinally on the vertebral entire body. On C6, the ventral ridge is extremely faint. The ruminant neck has, in addition to other slight features, a twin position in equally feeding and intra-distinct male combating, nonetheless osteologic research of cervical vertebrae to correlate to function are missing. The elongated neck of the giraffe has purposeful implications, including substantial-searching and male combat.

journal.pone.0136708.g005

The giraffe neck also swings to change the heart of gravity of the cranium throughout locomotion, facilitating fluid physique actions. The okapi has also been observed to make use of their neck for the duration of combating, even so this phenomenon has not been researched in element. Dissimilarities in the serial anatomic patterns of the giraffe and okapi cervical vertebrae propose likely variances in the specific use of the neck. The composition of the giraffe cervical vertebrae allow feeding equally at shoulder level and at higher levels up to five meters. The giraffe cervical vertebrae show substantial vertebral lengthening exceeding that of the okapi, which allows for high browsing as properly as feeding from decrease ranges. This cervical elongation and resulting structural vertebral changes seen in the giraffe permits a better assortment in feeding not noticed in the okapi.

The lengthening of the giraffe cervical vertebrae perceptibly exceeds that of any living ungulate, like the other extant giraffid. Our morphologic descriptions of the serial cervical vertebrae display that there is appreciable homogenization of the G. camelopardalis cervicals which is not seen in O. johnstoni. In the giraffe, the situation of the dorsal tubercle, thickness of the cranial articular approach, orientation of the ventral tubercle, and hourglass ventral shape are uniform all through C3-C7, whilst in the okapi, these characteristics are serially variable. Correspondingly, the coefficient of variation of C3-C6 for ten of the eleven measurements is scaled-down in G. camelopardalis, supporting serial homogenization. We believe this homogenization benefits from the intense cervical elongation witnessed only in the giraffe.The locus of the dorsal tubercle is not inherently apparent when observing a cervical vertebra.