=== (AGENDAWATCHDOG) === Efforts to map the genome of giraffes has confirmed that there are four distinct species, and they are as different to one another as brown bears and polar bears.
Visually, they are hardly distinguishable, according to LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics scientists, who carried out the genetic analyses.
Despite looking the same, genetically there are four distinct species of giraffe and seven subspecies, explained lead author Dr Axel Janke.
According to their comprehensive genome analyses, the four giraffe lineages have been evolving separately for thousands of years.
Spread from north to south Africa, the four distinct species of giraffe are: Northern giraffe, Reticulated giraffe, Masai giraffe and Southern giraffe.