STUDY OF THE AXIAL SKELETON IN THE GIRAFFE (GIRAFFA CAMELOPARDIS) COMPARED TO ITS BOVINE COUNTERPART

Published in Scientific Works. C Series. Veterinary Medicine, Vol. LVIII ISSUE 3
Written by A. Damian, Al. Gudea, Alexandra Blendea, I. Ciama, F. Tuns, Irina Irimescu

The giraffe (Giraffa camelopardis) is known as the tallest land mammal of African origins. Its unique evolution has led to the development of singular morphological features. Its rare presence outside its natal continent makes the giraffe a rarely studied species in our country, which makes any new research regarding this species a valuable addition to our anatomic database. Materials and Methods: The study was performed in the Comparative Anatomy Laboratory of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca. One giraffe body and two cow skeletons were used to determine the anatomical differences between the thoracic, lumbar sacral and coccygeal segments of the vertebral column, the ribs and the sternum in these two species. The body was processed through usual techniques maintaining the thoracic skeleton intact due to the individual’s young age. The cow skeletons belong to our ossuary collection. We have chosen to compare the giraffe to the cow, because this is the reference ruminant for veterinary anatomy, well studied both in our country and on an international level. Results and Conclusion: The main differences, underlining biomechanical consequences, were registered in the thoracic, lumbar, sacral segments and in the sternum. The giraffe has an extra thoracic vertebra and an extra pair of ribs, but it has a smaller thoracic length ratio to the total body length. The lumbar and sacral segments each lack a vertebra. The sternum is narrow. The dorsal profile of the trunk has a more pronounced decline in height from the withers to the lumbar segment, and its general shape is dorso-ventrally narrowed to its extremities, making it more compact than in bovines.

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Damian A., Gudea Al., Blendea A., Ciama I., Tuns F., Irimescu I. 2012, STUDY OF THE AXIAL SKELETON IN THE GIRAFFE (GIRAFFA CAMELOPARDIS) COMPARED TO ITS BOVINE COUNTERPART. Scientific Works. C Series. Veterinary Medicine, Vol. LVIII ISSUE 3, PRINT ISSN 1222-5304, 90-99.


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