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Evolutionary History The okapi is the closest relative of the giraffe Here is the evolution of the okapi starting at the Holocene Era The Holocene which is what we live in contains the Okapia johnstoni and the Giraffa camelopardalis The Pleistocene Era has many more relatives of the okapi It has the above mentioned giraffe species along with the Giraffa jumae the Giraffa gracilis the Giraffa sivalensis the Okapia stillei the Sivatherium giganteum and the Sivatherium maurusium The Pilocene Era had the Giraffa attica the Giraffa punjabiensis the Giraffa priscilla the Samotherium boissieri and the species Samotherium sp The Upper Miocene Era had the species Amotherium africanum Samotherium sp Palaeotragus germaini and Palaeotragus primaevus The only species related to the okapi in the Middle Miocene Era was Palaeotragus primaevus The Lower Miocene Era also contained just one species that was related to the okapi that species was the Prolibytherium magnieri The Oligocene Era was the last era that contained a relative of the okapi That relative was the Eumeryx sp Classification Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Order Artiodactyla Family Giraffidae Genus Okapia Species johnstoni Scientific Name Okapia johnstoni Physical Description The okapi has a velvet-like coat that is generally dark chestnut-brown or purplish red in color with a distinctive pattern of horizontal stripes on the upper legs that resemble the stripes of a zebra The lower legs are white with dark garters at the joints The vaguely horse-like head is generally lighter with a black muzzle and is supported by a thick neck The ears are large and the black tongue is long and prehensile The body is sloped with the frontlegs much higher than the back legs Males have two skin covered horns or knobs on the forehead which develop between one and five years of age The okapi have a body length
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