Scientists used to think that there was only one species of giraffes but they now know that there are four species. Dr. Axel Janke, a geneticist from the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Center, along with Julian Fennessy from the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in Namibia and their colleagues tested the DNA of almost two hundred giraffes from across Africa. They found genetic mutations that were present in some groups of giraffes, but were lacking in others. Before giraffes were just classified as Giraffa camelopardalis, but now they will be one of four species: the southern giraffe, the Masai giraffe, the reticulated giraffe, and the northern giraffe. A few differences between the giraffes include jagged lines and dark spots on the Masai giraffe or the five horn structures on the northern giraffe, but most of them look the same for the most part. According to Dr. Janke, the species might have diverged from one another about 1.5 million years ago. They do not know why it took so long to figure out that giraffes have four different species, but he thinks it may have something to do with the fact that there are not studied as much as other African wildlife such as lions, elephants, and rhinos. Giraffes are my favorite animal, so when I saw this article, I knew that I had to read it. It is crazy to think that there are now four different giraffe species because they all look more or less the same on the outside. It is shocking that it took so long to find out that there are multiple species of giraffes, but it does make sense if they were not studied as much as other African wildlife.