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Elephants have evolved to be tuskless in response to ivory poaching, study finds

A hefty set of tusks is usually an advantage for elephants, allowing them to dig for water, strip bark for food and joust with other elephants. But during episodes of intense ivory poaching, those big incisors become a liability.

Now researchers have pinpointed how years of civil war and poaching in Mozambique have led to a greater proportion of elephants that will never develop tusks.

During the conflict from 1977 to 1992, fighters on both sides slaughtered elephants for ivory to finance war efforts. In the region that’s now Gorongosa National Park, around 90 percent of the elephants were killed.

The survivors were likely to share a key characteristic: half the females were naturally tuskless — they simply never developed tusks — while before the war, less than a fifth lacked tusks.

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by Anonymousreply 23October 22, 2021 5:36 PM

That was fast!

by Anonymousreply 1October 22, 2021 1:50 PM

But…evolution is a liberal myth!

by Anonymousreply 2October 22, 2021 1:53 PM


by Anonymousreply 3October 22, 2021 1:55 PM

Human destroy everything we touch

by Anonymousreply 4October 22, 2021 1:56 PM

How will they defend themselves?

by Anonymousreply 5October 22, 2021 2:03 PM

Tasers, Rose.

by Anonymousreply 6October 22, 2021 2:06 PM

something like this I'd guess. It will be hilarious. They should stream elephant fights in the future.

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by Anonymousreply 7October 22, 2021 2:06 PM

[quote]Tasers, Rose.

Okay, “Dorothy” is falling unfunny territory. Enough.

by Anonymousreply 8October 22, 2021 2:09 PM

*in unfunny territory

by Anonymousreply 9October 22, 2021 2:09 PM

Oh!!!! HALL MONITOR whose prunes haven't kicked in.

by Anonymousreply 10October 22, 2021 2:10 PM

Always so deflating when a control freaky rebuke fails on its own merits. Better luck next time, R8/R9.

Or as you'd say, better luck time.

by Anonymousreply 11October 22, 2021 2:12 PM

Nature taking care of her own...

by Anonymousreply 12October 22, 2021 3:10 PM

Elephants are actually growing in population in Botswana, Namibia and Kenya, but only because those countries have invested a huge amount of money to protect their national parks. Only when China (and Taiwan and Vietnam and others in Asia) completely eradicates its Ivory black market will elephants be safe.

by Anonymousreply 13October 22, 2021 3:21 PM

If you want a failure in public policy, you never have to look far to find a Conservative. If you want somebody violating of international norms, China won't be far away.

by Anonymousreply 14October 22, 2021 3:23 PM

I mean am I wrong to wonder now and then that the creation of mankind was God's only mistake?

by Anonymousreply 15October 22, 2021 4:35 PM

Maybe ^.

by Anonymousreply 16October 22, 2021 4:36 PM

Traumatic events can stunt animals' growth, especially elephants who are known for their mourning when their loved ones die. And most female elephants in the jungle not far from my town hardly ever have tusks to begin with even though they live in a peaceful environment.

by Anonymousreply 17October 22, 2021 4:45 PM

Does this sort of rapid evolution have a name?

by Anonymousreply 18October 22, 2021 5:01 PM


by Anonymousreply 19October 22, 2021 5:05 PM

Evolution can be both fast and glacial.

The famous examples of darker moths dominating as England's industrial soot filled the air is another example of quick adaptation. It's not that darker moths were suddenly created; it's that the existing darker moths couldn't be seen well by their predators because the air was dark so they survives and procreated better than the white moths,

by Anonymousreply 20October 22, 2021 5:09 PM

Republican congresscritters have evolved to become spineless in just 4 years. They should change their symbol to a jellyfish.

Here's a video of a baby elephant rescue. It gets out of the hole at 2:20 and the mother thanks the rescuers at 3:20. Highly intelligent creatures.

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by Anonymousreply 21October 22, 2021 5:19 PM

Is this evolution though? The tuskless ones weren’t poached so they lived to breed more tuskless elephants. And now they are in the majority.

by Anonymousreply 22October 22, 2021 5:26 PM

R22, you just defined evolution

by Anonymousreply 23October 22, 2021 5:36 PM
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