It’s a truth universally known that giraffes are tall.
Unless, of course, they’re dwarves, such as in the case of Gimli – a wee Nubian giraffe in Uganda.
Gimli measures just nine foot tall, while an average adult giraffe measures between 16 to 20 foot.
The runt has limited mobility due to his short legs and was first observed at Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park in 2015.
Researchers did a double-take when they came across Gimli.
Gimli, a calf at the time, has a characteristically long neck but his legs are noticeably short. So conservationists began observing his growth.
They last checked in on Gimli and took his measurements last summer where he appeared to be trodding along in the Ugandan plaines.
In the years since discovering Gimli, researchers also found another giraffe with the same condition – allowing them to conclude that dwarfism exists in the species.
In 2018, scientists came across an Angolan giraffe, nicknamed Nigel, who was living on a private farm in central Namibia.
Nigel was also monitored as Gimli was over the course of a few years.
The researchers found that the images and measurements of both animals, now adults, were similar and that they were the same age and from the same population.
One of the researchers commented in a study published in the journal BMC Research Notes: ‘Using digital photogrammetry techniques, we performed comparative morphometric analyses to describe skeletaldysplasia-like syndromes in two wild giraffe from different taxa and demonstrated that the skeletal dimensions of these dysplastic giraffe are not consistent with the population measurements of giraffe in similar age classes.’
Though they are much smaller, dwarf giraffes are expected to live the same amount of years as their counterparts.
However their shorter stature does make it easy for predators to prey upon them.
Let’s hope Gimli and Nigel remain safe.
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