SICB 2021 – Virtual Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB) takes place virtually from January 3 to February 28, 2021. As usual the conference programme is packed with a huge number of interesting contributions on various aspects of evolution, functional morphology, developmental biology and many more topics.

My colleagues and I present latest results on the neck of giraffes. Giraffes are fascinating creatures because of their elongated body plan. They are today’s tallest terrestrial mammals (average height: about 5m) and particularily known for their long neck.

Our study investigated the vertebrae of a broad sample of ruminants, camelids, living and extinct giraffids providing new insights into the evolution of long- and short-necked mammals.

The oral presentation is on Saturday January 5, 2021. And the publication will soon be available, too!

The collaborative work is part of my project on the Evolution of the axial skeleton in vertebrates. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement n°890809 — EDDI (Marie-Skłodowska Curie fellowship awarded to C.B.).


Danowitz M, Vasilyev A, Kortlandt A, Solounias N (2015) Fossil evidence and stages of elongation of the Giraffa camelopardalis neck. Royal Society Open Science 2: 150393. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150393

Lankester R (1908) On certain points in the structure of the cervical vertebrae of the okapi and the giraffe. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 320.

Nyakatura JA, Müller MA, Merten L, Böhmer C (2021) Analysing form and function of the cervicothoracic transition in cetartiodactyls confirms the ‘functional elongation hypothesis’ of the giraffe neck: Abstracts book: Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology (SICB), Virtual meeting. [Abstract]

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