Environment and Evolution: Environment and Evolution: Animals: News:

기린의 긴 목, ‘나뭇잎 먹이’ 아닌 ‘박치기 싸움’ 위해 진화했다

[애니멀피플]
170-million-year-old giraffe fossil found in Xinjiang, China, with large helmet-shaped horns and a thick cervical spine
The mating struggle between men shook their heads like a barn … High food security is a side effect

Picture of the ancestors of the early giraffe fighting pillows with large horns. Served with Wang Yu and Guo Xiao Kong.

Giraffes stay away from rival herbivores and eat soft leaves up to 4 to 5 m tall. The explanation that the evolution of the giraffe’s neck, which is more than 2 meters long, is the longest on the ground, and that there is such an advantage in the competition for food, was accepted as a conservatism by Charles Darwin. However, recent claims are that the long neck has evolved into a struggle between men to hold on to women rather than competition for food. This theory is supported by the results of a study analyzing fossils of prehistoric giraffes.

It has been argued that the long neck of giraffes evolved from a fight between males instead of securing the tall leaves.  Before entering battle, a male giraffe grabs its long neck.  Luke Gallucci, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It has been argued that the long neck of giraffes evolved from a fight between males instead of securing the tall leaves. Before entering battle, a male giraffe grabs its long neck. Luke Gallucci, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Wang Shi-qi, a paleontologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in an article published in the scientific journal Science that “the long-necked giraffe’s are the main driving force behind the evolution of the giraffe. Years ago, researchers analyzed the ancestral head and neck bones of an early giraffe excavated in the Tsongar Basin of Xinjiang, Uyghur Autonomous Region, China. In the center is a large dish-shaped horn (ocean) attached, ”the institute said. Press releaseThe researchers found that the animal had a long neck and that its teeth and inner ear structure were the ancestor of giraffes, with the overall structure being similar to that of the wild giraffe’s cousin Okapi. However, the shape of the head was very different.

The skull of the ancestor of a giraffe was as flat as ironing. The researchers hypothesized that the flat bone was covered with keratin, and as the keratin layer grew, the old parts peeled off and a dome-shaped ‘horn’ formed. This helmet-shaped horn is supported vertically by thick, precisely connected cervical vertebrae. “The shape of the skulls and necks of living giraffes and fossil giraffes are very different, but they are all related to the male mating struggle, and they have evolved in extreme directions,” Dr. Wang said. One of the methods used by modern male giraffes to fight is to hit the weakest part of the opponent by swinging a heavy horned skull with a neck 2-3 m long. This method of attack, like beating with a club, increases its strength as the neck lengthens.

An imaginary drawing of a mating battle between a primitive giraffe (front) and a modern giraffe with their long necks.  Served with Wang Yu and Guo Xiao Kong.

An imaginary drawing of a mating battle between a primitive giraffe (front) and a modern giraffe with their long necks. Served with Wang Yu and Guo Xiao Kong.

“Mating competition has been implicated in the evolution of long necks because long-necked male giraffes can dominate,” the researchers said. Fights with horns are common in ruminants, but researchers estimate that the skeletal structure of this fossil giraffe is twice as severe as that of a male muskrat.

Image of a prairie environment inhabited by primitive giraffes.  The animals of that time are described based on the fossils excavated from the Jangar Basin.  Guo Xiao is served with beans.

Image of a prairie environment inhabited by primitive giraffes. The animals of that time are described based on the fossils excavated from the Jangar Basin. Guo Xiao is served with beans.

The researchers analyzed the fossil giraffe’s teeth and found that the animal lived in a dry and barren state. Dr. who participated in the study. Meng Jin said, “Isotopic analysis of the enamel layer of the tooth shows that this animal lives in open grasslands and moves frequently.” Calculated. Modern giraffes also appeared 7 million years ago when the tropical forests of East Africa were transformed into grasslands, “he added. ScienceDOI: 10.1126 / science.abl8316 Correspondent Joe Hong-siop ecothink@hani.co.kr

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