Judging from my Facebook wall, giraffes seem to be the rage right now. Here’s a riddle that’s a bit more meaningful than what to open first when your parents come over for early morning sandwiches: how do the different African giraffe species maintain their distinct lineages when their territories overlap?
Predicted localities are indicated in red dots (Rothschild's), blue dots (Reticulated), and green dots (Masai).Observed localities are plotted in triangles (Rothschild's), asterisks (Reticulated), and pluses (Masai).
It’s interesting that these subtle differences in habitat seem to be capable to separating otherwise compatible species.
Henri A. Thomassen, Adam H. Freedman, David M. Brown, Wolfgang Buermann, & David K. Jacobs (2013). Regional Differences in Seasonal Timing of Rainfall Discriminate between Genetically Distinct East African Giraffe Taxa PloS ONE : doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077191.g003.