Evolutionary history of the okapi the colsest relative of the giraffe

Female estrus cycles occur every 15 days throughout the year, but are often irregular. Males show few sexual hormonal fluctuations. Males enter female home ranges to mate.

Evolutionary history of the okapi the colsest relative of the giraffe

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Evolutionary history of the okapi the colsest relative of the giraffe

This list is about living animals that are interesting on their own, but are seldom mentioned, and always overshadowed by their more famous, closest relatives. At first, scientists thought it was some kind of forest dwelling zebra, because of the stripes on its legs, but now it is known to be the closest and only living relative to the giraffe!

Just like the giraffe, the Okapi is an usually peaceful vegetarian with a very long, bluish gray tongue that comes in handy to clean its eyes, ears and nostrils… both inside and out.

Seldom seen and rarely displayed in zoos, the Okapi is only found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, although it was likely more widespread in ancient times. Most of what is known of them comes from captive specimens.

Just like the Okapi, the Pygmy Hippo was unknown to science until recently in this case, the 19th century. They look like smaller, cuter versions of the larger hippo, but they have somewhat different habits; for a start, they spend more time on land and live alone or in small groups, instead of gathering in huge herds like their larger relatives.

They are only found in the rainforests and swamps of Western Africa. But while the spotted hyena is a large, dangerous predator, able to take on zebras and wildebeest, the much smaller proteles up to 10 kgs feeds almost exclusively on termites and other insects.

It has very weak jaws and teeth and a long sticky tongue to collect its prey; it can eat up to Although harmless to humans, the proteles will defend itself bravely if harassed; the erectile mane on its back makes it look bigger and more dangerous than it really is, scaring away potential predators.

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Proteles are found in Southern and Eastern Africa. Drills are found in a small region of Western Africa and are seriously endangered nowadays, due to the bush-meat trade basically, locals are eating these monkeys to extinction.

They look very similar to mandrills but have black faces and red chins; females are smaller and less colorful than males. They feed on anything they can find, from grass and fruits, to small animals.

The Elusive Okapi

They were confirmed as a new species inalthough they had been reported long before this. It is also known that they attack other cetaceans, sometimes much bigger than themselves. Pygmy killer whales live in all the oceans, except for the polar regions, but are very rarely seen.

However, its smaller relative, the Silky anteater, is almost never heard of, even in those countries of which its native. Silky anteaters are squirrel-sized tree-dwellers and they seldom if ever go down to the ground; they live in rainforests in Mexico, Central and South America and rely mostly on camouflage to evade the attention of predators.

But if they are cornered, they can deliver surprisingly powerful blows with their sharp, curved claws. Once again, this is a rarely seen creature, active mostly at night. Despite their rodent-like appearance, however, hyraxes are actually more related to elephants!

Indeed, hyraxes share a number of anatomical and physiological features with elephants, including small tusks and excellent memory. They feed on plants and live in very arid habitats.

They have sticky toe pads that allow them to climb up trees and rocks at high speed without slipping. However, its close relative, the crab-eating raccoon, is seldom mentioned. Found in tropical swamps and jungles in Central and South America, this species feeds on anything it can find and not only crabs, although it does seem to spend more time in or near water than its better known relative.

It is again a solitary, nocturnal and seldom seen animal.The Giraffe is the only living relative of Okapis although they resemble the body structure and coat of a Zebra. The Okapi was not discovered by the Western world until the end of 19th century. Okapis are very elusive and shy creatures that are rarely seen by people.

A distant relative of today’s giraffes was a bit of an odd creature: It was about the size of a bull moose, but it had a long neck that could stretch both up to eat tree leaves and down to eat.

Watch video · It's a zebra, it's a horse no, it's an okapi. Not discovered until the 20th century, the okapi's closest relative is actually the giraffe. Of the proteins in giraffe and okapi genes, % are identical. The two species are equally distantly related to cattle, suggesting the giraffe's unique characteristics are not because of faster evolution.

The divergence of giraffe and okapi lineages dates to around mya. May 17,  · Scientists know that these adaptations all emerged relatively quickly (on an evolutionary scale, that is) because the giraffe only separated from a common ancestor with its closest relative.

Apr 11,  · Just like the Okapi, the Pygmy Hippo was unknown to science until recently (in this case, the 19th century). They look like smaller, cuter versions of the larger hippo, but they have somewhat different habits; for a start, they spend more time on land and live alone or in small groups, instead of gathering in huge herds like their larger relatives.

Okapi Fact Sheet