Both Giraffes and Camels are majestic creatures, and both have many similarities if you look at their facial features. Even their food preferences are the same, being herbivore animals and similar body parts and functions.
Having these things in your mind, you may wonder, “Are giraffes and camels related?” or “Do they come from a similar family?” Let’s discuss this topic more deeply and find out the answers to questions that might have been bugging your mind.
Are Giraffes related to Camels?
In a way, Yes. Giraffes and camels are related as they come from the same family of Artiodactyla (even-toed ungulates). But still, they are quite distant from each other. Though they have similarities, we cannot say they are closely related because they also have some differences.
For instance, camels are well known for their camel backs, while giraffes have long necks making them giants of all animals.
Are Giraffes A Type Of Camel?
No, giraffes are not a type of camel. Though both animals belong to the same family, giraffes do not fall under the camel species.
They are only related in a way as they both are even-toed ungulates (mammalian order Artiodactyla). And this group includes not just camels and giraffes but many other animals. So, we can say that these two are not that close when it comes to the ancestral lineage.
Some of the other animals in that group are deer, sheep, hippopotamuses, cattle, goats, peccaries, pigs, and antelopes. Therefore, giraffes are camels related to each other as much as they are to other animals.
Can Giraffe and Camel Meet In Nature?
The chance of meeting a camel and giraffe is not negligible. In spite of the fact that they live in different environments, they can meet in the wild, but the chances are less. Giraffes prefer open savannahs and grasslands, whereas camels tend to live in deserts to survive.
Also Read: Can You Ride A Giraffe?
Can You Breed A Camel And A Giraffe?
Nope, You cannot breed a camel and a giraffe. Although they belong to the same family of Artiodactyla, they cannot mate with each other and produce a hybrid.
Despite the fact of being in the same group, they have also come a long way from being related to each other in the process of evolution.
Camels and giraffes don’t share the same habitat; thus, they have different types of bodies and needs. So, even if they may encounter in the wild, they won’t necessarily mate and produce offspring.
How Closely Are Camels And Giraffes Related?
The relationship between camels and giraffes only goes as far as their group (even-toed ungulates) is concerned. They differ in many areas, like their appearance, their body builds, body needs, the environment they live in, and so on.
Scientists classified all organisms in the world into different categories (taxon) based on their shared characteristics. There are seven main taxonomic ranks, which are kingdom, phylum (division), class, order, family, genus, and species.
So when we study these animals in the line of those classifications, both of them are members of the same kingdom (Animalia), they both belong to the same phylum (Chordata), are members of the same class (Mammalia), and also members of the same order (Artiodactyla), but that’s where their relation stops.
They are not members of the same family. Giraffes belong to the ‘Girrafidae family’, whereas camels belong to the ‘Camelidae family.’
So, even if they belong to the same group, it doesn’t mean that one can consider the same.
Also Read: Are Giraffes Related To Horses?
Differences Between Camel And Giraffe (Camel Vs Giraffe)
Giraffes are closely related to cows, deer, and antelope, all of which diverged about 25 million years ago. Early giraffes, which had yet to evolve the long necks of their evolutionary descendants, closely resembled to their relatives, having longer, antelope/deer-like horns and shorter necks.
When camels are concerned, they evolved 40-50 million years ago, and they were originally much smaller than their modern counterparts. Camels and their relatives, such as llamas and alpacas, diverged from the rest (pigs, ruminants, hippopotamuses, and even whales) of the group of Artiodactyla relatively early on.
- Camels have hunchbacks (camelbacks) where they store water. On the contrary, giraffes have tall necks.
- Giraffes have two ossicones (horns) on the top of their head. They are made of cartilage and not attached to their skulls. And camels don’t have any horns.
- Giraffes are always wild and have striped hides. They mostly live on the African plains in small groups. On the other hand, camels are shorter, hump-backed animals living in the deserts and dry lands of Asia and Africa. They live in large herds, have tan hides because of the heat, and most of them are domesticated.
Camels and Giraffes live in different environments. Giraffes live in grasslands and open savannahs where they can easily find food and water sources such as acacia trees and ponds.
On the other hand, camels generally live in deserts where food and water are scarce.
Giraffes are ruminants (they have multi-chambered stomachs). By this, they can eat hundreds of pounds of grass and leaves without worries. They sleep way less than camels and do not spit like them.
Whereas camels are not ruminants like giraffes, so they don’t have multi-chambered stomachs. However, they can survive for months without drinking any water.
So, to answer in a nutshell the question “Are giraffes related to camels?” – despite being a part of the same group Artiodactyla, camels, and giraffes are not closely related.
The respective ancestors of camels and giraffes genetically diverged around 50 million years ago.
While the closest relative to the camel is Okapi (forest giraffe/ zebra giraffe), the closest relatives to the giraffes are Llamas, Alpacas, and Guanacos.
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