Are Zebras and Giraffes Related?

The okapi has raise the question how closely are giraffes and zebras related. The okapi has striped legs like a zebra but many other characteristic ape that of the giraffe. So are zebras and giraffes related?

Well lets look at their scientific classifications, they both belong to the Animalia kingdom, and the Chordata phylum. Also they both belong to the Mammalia class. However that’s where the similarities in scientific classification stop. The zebra is in the Perissodactyla order and the giraffe is in the Artiodactyla. An interesting fact is they are both ungulates, which means they both have hoofed feet. The answer to the question are they related, depends on your definition of related. They are not related like zebras and horses are related. Horses and zebras have a common ancestor we can trace back to about 4 million years ago. The common ancestor of the zebra and giraffe would be over 54 million years ago.

I would say that is not close enough to call them related. The zebra would be closer related to a rhinoceros. And giraffes closer related to an American moose. They may both be from Africa but they have evolved in entirely different ways in the last 54 million years.

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