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  1. 18 Nov '17 20:27 / 8 edits
    Originally posted by @eladar
    If this is true then why did only giraffes develop long necks?
    Because different animals specialize on feeding on different varieties of food and with different ways of accessing it.
    With just a few possible exceptions, few carnivals would get much benefit from longer necks.
    Those herbivores that can only easily digest grass but not easily digest the tree foliage in that area generally won't benefit from longer necks.
    Those that climb trees (such as herbivorous monkeys) also won't benefit from longer necks as they climb trees and longer necks might actually hinder their climbing.
    In areas where low lying vegetation that a herbivore can digest is never in short supply, even if there are also plenty of tall trees in that area, there would generally be little benefit in having a longer neck (unless the tree foliage happens to be significantly more nutritious than the low vegetation) and a very long neck might actually make grazing low lying vegetation harder.
    In areas where there are no trees and all vegetation is low lying, there wouldn't be benefit.
    etc etc.
  2. Subscriber venda
    Dave
    18 Nov '17 20:56
    Originally posted by @eladar
    If this is true then why did only giraffes develop long necks?
    I go back to my Galapagos tortoises.
    The ones on islands with higher up vegetation developed longer necks.
    Tapir's have long necks.
    The case for evolutionary development is very strong.
    Even humans whose ancestors had to develop different skills to survive are different.
    Just consider the present day athletes from Kenya and their prowess as just one example
  3. 20 Nov '17 03:03
    Originally posted by @venda
    I go back to my Galapagos tortoises.
    The ones on islands with higher up vegetation developed longer necks.
    Tapir's have long necks.
    The case for evolutionary development is very strong.
    Even humans whose ancestors had to develop different skills to survive are different.
    Just consider the present day athletes from Kenya and their prowess as just one example
    So did the giraffe evolve on an island?
  4. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    They have no friends
    20 Nov '17 03:35 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by @eladar
    If this is true then why did only giraffes develop long necks?
    Because other animals with long necks had to compete with giraffes.

    Before giraffes there were long neck dinosaurs:

    wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplodocus
  5. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    20 Nov '17 09:54
    Originally posted by @eladar
    So did the giraffe evolve on an island?
    No matter how hard you train there will come a point
    where you cannot run any faster or lift heavier weights.
    Even though others can run faster and can lift more.
  6. 22 Nov '17 00:11
    Originally posted by @athousandyoung
    Because other animals with long necks had to compete with giraffes.

    Before giraffes there were long neck dinosaurs:

    wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplodocus
    Why didn't other mammals develop long necks?
  7. 22 Nov '17 07:56 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Why didn't other mammals develop long necks?
    I have in effect already answered this question in my last post here.
    Reminder;
    "...
    Because different animals specialize on feeding on different varieties of food and with different ways of accessing it.
    With just a few possible exceptions, few carnivals would get much benefit from longer necks.
    Those herbivores that can only easily digest grass but not easily digest the tree foliage in that area generally won't benefit from longer necks.
    Those that climb trees (such as herbivorous monkeys) also won't benefit from longer necks as they climb trees and longer necks might actually hinder their climbing.
    In areas where low lying vegetation that a herbivore can digest is never in short supply, even if there are also plenty of tall trees in that area, there would generally be little benefit in having a longer neck (unless the tree foliage happens to be significantly more nutritious than the low vegetation) and a very long neck might actually make grazing low lying vegetation harder.
    In areas where there are no trees and all vegetation is low lying, there wouldn't be benefit.
    etc etc.
    ..."
  8. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    23 Nov '17 05:45 / 1 edit
    One might add that whether any combination of physical characteristics constitutes a survival advantage or not depends on several factors, not only on the animal itself which happens to exhibit those characteristics. It also depends on the physical terrain where the animal lives, the climate, what other animals are competing for food there, what predictors are there, and so on.

    Abstract an animal from its environment, and no conclusion can be drawn about its survival chances.

    Having a long neck, long legs, and good eyesight constitute a survival advantage in that such a creature can see predators coming a long way off in the terrain where giraffes are indigenous. Having a long neck and long legs and good eyesight are no advantage for a creature which lives in caves, for example.
  9. Subscriber moonbus
    Uber-Nerd
    23 Nov '17 08:01
    "Predators" not "predictors" -- stupid auto-dis-correct.
  10. Standard member wolfgang59
    Infidel
    27 Nov '17 08:25
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Why didn't other mammals develop long necks?
    Why didn't other mammals develop trunks?
    Why didn't other mammals develop underwater swimming?
    Why didn't other mammals develop digging feet?
    Why didn't other mammals develop higher intelligence?

    Niche.
    Opportunity.
    Survival.
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    They have no friends
    01 Dec '17 20:13
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Why didn't other mammals develop long necks?
    Because they had to compete with giraffes who if they did. Giraffes controlled their niche and other mammals couldn’t compete.
  12. Subscriber apathist
    looking for loot
    04 Dec '17 16:45
    I find long noses more perplexing. Noses can be hands!

    I wonder what hands can be.
  13. 04 Dec '17 17:07
    Originally posted by @eladar
    Why didn't other mammals develop long necks?
    Why didn't other mammals develop cat faces?
  14. 04 Dec '17 17:26
    Originally posted by @apathist
    I find long noses more perplexing. Noses can be hands!

    I wonder what hands can be.
    Wings, fins, feet, weapons, to name a few.