Scientists have recently been discovering extremely short giraffes that look, as Gizmodo notes, like adorable Corgi versions of a regular tall giraffe. They spotted one in Uganda, then another in Namibia.
What's up? They're not sure, but suspect the giraffes have skeletal dysplasia, or what's more popularly known as disproportionate dwarfism. Interestingly, their stature doesn't appear to have harmed their survival — they both appear to have lived past one year, and that first year is when giraffes are most vulnerable to predation.
The scientists wrote up their findings in this un-paywalled paper here (the photos above are from it.) Gizmodo talked to them, and they were pretty astonished at their discovery:
"We get to know the giraffes, and these populations, rather intimately," said Brown. "Giraffes have unique coat patterns, and we are able to identify them as individuals using some pattern recognition."
So when he and his team watched a distinctly short male giraffe strut out across the plain looking like a hasty Photoshop job in the flesh, it caught their attention.
"The [park] ranger we were working with and I, we looked at each other sort of to confirm that we were seeing the same thing," recounted Brown.