The study researchers collected and analyzed DNA from skin samples representing 190 giraffes from across Africa, the first such analysis to include data from all nine formerly accepted subspecies.
The results showed that what was long thought to be one giraffe species is in fact four species.
The 18th-century naturalist Carolus Linnaeus provided the first scientific description of a giraffe in 1758, using a Nubian giraffe as a model.
Over time, more giraffe subspecies were identified. The nine recognized subspecies were described between 1758 and 1911, and inhabited 12 African countries, including South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The researchers spent five years assembling and testing genetic material from giraffes ranging across Africa. When the dust settled, four species were standing tall: the southern giraffe, northern giraffe, reticulated giraffe and Masai giraffe.
The nine subspecies were absorbed into these four newly defined species, with the Nubian giraffe — the first representative, from more than 300 years ago — now identified as a subspecies of northern giraffe.
inhabit：動詞，居住。例句：Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet.（我們最基本的共通連結就是我們同居住在這星球上。）
assemble：動詞，集合。例句：Freedom means the right of people to assemble, organize, and debate openly.（自由意指人們公開地集會、組織與辯論。）
absorb：動詞，吸收。例句：Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.（有用者吸收，無用者拋棄，然後加添你的特有。）