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Temporal range: Miocene, 14–11 Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Giraffidae
Genus: Giraffokeryx
Pilgrim 1910[1]
Type species
Giraffokeryx punjabiensis

Giraffokeryx is an extinct genus of medium-sized giraffid known from the Miocene of the Indian subcontinent and Eurasia. It is distinguished from other giraffids by the four ossicones on its head; one pair in front of the eyes on the anterior aspect of the frontal bone and the other behind the eyes in the fronto-parietal region overhanging the temporal fossae. It has a brachydont dentition like in other giraffids and legs and feet are of medium length.[2]

Giraffokeryx is considered monotypic by most authors, in the form of G. punjabiensis, but other species have been assigned to the genus:

  • G. chinjensis was assigned to the genus but later included within the extinct species Giraffa priscilla. The distribution of this latter species and G. punjabiensis indicates that the Himalayas still didn't act as a barrier for faunal dispersal during the middle Miocene.[3]
  • G. anatoliensis, a partial skull with a post-orbital horn and isolated teeth from Turkey, had shorter and less inclined horns than G. punjabiensis.[4]

Giraffokeryx resembled either an okapi or a small giraffe. It is a possible ancestor of both.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giraffokeryx in the Paleobiology Database. Retrieved June 2013.
  2. ^ Bhatti et al. 2012, p. 1625
  3. ^ Bhatti et al. 2012, pp. 1628–9
  4. ^ Geraads & Aslan 2003
  5. ^ Mitchell, G.; Skinner, J. D. (2003). "On the origin, evolution and phylogeny of giraffes Giraffa camelopardalis" (PDF). Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa. 58 (1): 51–73. doi:10.1080/00359190309519935.