Animals
Elephants are Evolving and Losing their Tusks to Survive Poaching
Category: Animals
Tags: Elephants

Elephants are Evolving and Losing their Tusks to Survive Poaching

Vic Bishop, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In recent years zoologists and biologists have noticed remarkable evolutionary changes taking place within the animal kingdom. Some are even noticing shifts in animal consciousness as various species appear to be learning new abilities and using new skills never seen before in the wild. This could be a result of these animals adapting to a world with more human influence than ever before.

 

 

Big game animals have in recent decades been devastated by hunting and illegal animal poaching, and it appears that elephants in some parts of Africa are adapting to this senseless slaughter by breeding out characteristics that make them targets.

In Mozambique, during the 16 years long civil war which began in the late seventies, up to ninety percent of the regions elephant population was slaughtered for their tusks which were hacked off and sold to finance the human conflict.

A tragedy of this magnitude has the power to leave a mark on the evolution of this species, and now zoologists are finding that as much as 30% of female elephants are being born without tusks, as a result of the fact that elephants without tusks, or with smaller tusks, were not targeted for their ivory.

This compares to typically 4% or less, which has some experts wondering if we are witnessing evolution unfold right before our eyes.

Doctoral student Dominique D’Emille Correia Gonçalves, an ecologist and conservation biologist from the University of Kent, who is studying the population, said: “The elephant population today is derived from most of the elephants who survived the war, where they were heavily poached for their tusks.

 

“The key explanation is that in Gorongosa National Park, the tuskless elephants were the ones which eluded poaching during the civil war and therefore passed this trait onto many of their daughters.

 

“We could be talking about the removal of certain genes from the population.” [Source]

In essence, a growing number of elephants in this region are descendants of tuskless or smaller tusked elephants, demonstrating the power that humans can have on wildlife. Remarkably, this adaptation may help them to avoid extinction, as illegal poaching is still widespread, and despite some countries efforts to stop the trade in ivory, major tragedies unfold every year where elephants and rhinos are killed in mass and after their tusks are sawed from their heads, they are left in the bush to rot.

Ecologists point out that the effects of poaching go far beyond the loss of individual animals.

“The prevalence of tusklessness in Addo is truly remarkable and underscores the fact that high levels of poaching pressure can do more than just remove individuals from a population,” Ryan Long, a behavioural ecologist at the University of Idaho told National Geographic. [Source]

Additionally, researchers have described an emerging ‘culture of aggression’ exhibited by female elephants, suggesting that their behavior, as a species, is also trying to adapt for survival in a hostile environment.

Read more articles by Vic Bishop.

 

Vic Bishop is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. He is an observer of people, animals, nature, and he loves to ponder the connection and relationship between them all. A believer in always striving to becoming self-sufficient and free from the matrix, please track him down on Facebook.

This article (Elephants are Evolving and Losing their Tusks to Survive Poaching) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Vic Bishop and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio and internal links. 

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Animal Hugs Human Compilation | The beauty of how Animal and Human relationships can be
Category: Animals
Tags: Nature Animals & Humans Animals Humans Love

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkn_xSd_FIY

Animals hug their human friends: Lions, apes, cows, dogs, bears, parrots and more can all be affectionate and show surprising tenderness when it comes to expressing their love and appreciation for people. An emotional animals hugging humans videos compilation.

-------------------

And here two more beutiful Videos to see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NPOD92a78I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pieJ-GSdyx8

 

40-Ton Whale Was Just Filmed Jumping Completely Out Of The Water, And This Incredible Video Is Going Viral
Category: Animals
Tags: Animals Fish

Humpback whales are pretty big. Quite enormous in fact. The average weight of a fully grown adult is around 36,000kg, which is about the same weight as 24 adult hippos, but that didn’t stop the massive mammal in the video below from putting on an incredible air display when it leapt completely out of the water in South Africa recently.

The footage was shot in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Mbotyi by Craig Capehart, a scuba diver who was sitting in a “rubber duck” inflatable boat when the graceful giant decided to make an appearance. He estimates that the whale weighed around 40 tons, but size clearly meant nothing to this graceful giant. “It seems that never before has a recording been made of an adult humpback whale leaping entirely out of the water! A very rare event, indeed,” wrote Craig in the caption accompanying the video. “Dolphins and even Great White Sharks have been seen flying out of the water, but this is a first for an adult humpback whale!”

More info: YouTube

Published on 20 Jul 2017

 

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