Skip to main content

Here's How the Giraffe Got Its Long Neck (Infographic)

Chart of evolution of the giraffe.
An ancestor of the giraffe split into two evolutionary branches, one leading to the okapi with its short neck and the other branch leading to the giraffes. (Image credit: by Karl Tate, Infographics Artist)

By 16 million years ago, the neck of the common ancestor of the okapi and the giraffe had elongated compared with its predecessors. More recently, the evolutionary tree split into two branches. The branch that results in the okapi has animals with necks that get shorter, while the giraffe branch has animals with progressively longer necks.

Karl Tate
Karl has been Purch's infographics specialist across all editorial properties since 2010.  Before joining Purch, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web.  He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University.