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Discokeryx xiezhi

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Discokeryx xiezhi
Discokeryx is an extinct genus of artiodactyls, a relative of modern-day giraffes and okapis. He lived during the early Miocene. Its fossil remains have been found in the Halamagai Formation of northern China.

Discokeryx had a thick-boned skull, topped by a disc-shaped headdress, cervical vertebrae with thickened centers, and the most complicated head and neck joints of any known mammal at the time of its discovery. They are adaptations for head-butting fights between males, similar to those of modern rams, and for neck-butting in modern male giraffes. Discokeryx's neck adaptations help scientists better understand giraffe neck evolution.

Compared to modern animals that fight with headbutts, D. xiezhi had the most optimized head for this goal, with a skull that protected the brain more efficiently than other mammals. Tooth enamel isotopes indicate that the species was a grassland herbivore that drank from various water sources, its habitats included areas to which its contemporaries were not adapted.

Approximate measurements of the Discokeryx:

  • Scale 1:35 Complete
    • Length 57mm
    • Height 39mm
    • Snout-base tail length 44 mm

  • Scale 1:20 Complete
    • Length 83mm
    • Height 56mm
    • Snout-base tail length 77 mm