The Rumanantia arose from early artiodactyls, which experienced adaptive radiation in the middle Eocene period that led to adaptations related to herbivory.

The giraffe's chief distinguishing characteristics are its extremely long neck and legs, its horn-like ossicones, and its distinctive coat patterns.

It is classified under the family Giraffidae, along with its closest extant relative, the okapi.

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The ecological conditions during this period may have helped them to disperse fast.

The giraffe is one of only two living genera of the family Giraffidae, the other being the okapi.

The family was once much more extensive, with over 10 fossil genera described.

Their closest known relatives are the extinct deer-like climacocerids.

Giraffes may be preyed on by lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs.