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why do tuskless elephants have a selective advantage?

why do tuskless elephants have a selective advantage?

All the information you need to now about elephant tusks. An increasing number of African elephants are now born tuskless because poachers have consistently targetted animals with the best ivory over decades, fundamentally altering the … However, tuskless elephants have the advantage of being ignored by hunters, and so survive to pass their mutated genes to the next generation. In 1930 the figure for both male and female elephants was only 1% … Experts say the reason why some elephants are tuskless is a result of a chance genetic mutation. Exactly why the Asian and African elephant populations have such different rates of tusklessness remains unexplained. SCIENCE Tuskless elephants may be a response to the selective pressure of poaching. Whether an elephant develops tusks or not is genetic. However, in South Africa's Addo Elephant National Park, 98% of females are tuskless (Whitehouse, 2001). "I have seen makhnas grab the tusks of a tusker and push," says Chelliah. The tensile strength of the Asian elephant tusk is surprisingly low — some species of bamboo have double the tensile strength of such ivory. Because elephants have been extensively hunted for ivory for more than 300 years, natural selection is often proposed as the underlying mechanism for an increase in the proportion of tuskless or small-tusked elephants in a population. Natural selection plus mutations is not evolution. Among Asian elephants, for example, a long history of hunting for ivory—as well as removing tusked elephants from the wild for labor—likely helped contribute to higher tuskless … Other studies have also revealed that hunting elephants is having a massive impact on their tusk evolution. (Nautilus) Learn more about the natural and unnatural history of the African elephant with our video study guide. Because poachers target elephants for their tusks, these years of violence have also had an expecting result: African elephants are evolving to become tuskless. Feature-destroying mutations are, however, right in line with a world “in bondage to decay”, as the Bible describes (Romans 8:19–22). Researchers warn that over time, African elephants may evolve into primarily tuskless creatures, as Asian elephant have. 11. However, the one silver lining is that the tuskless elephants appear to be well and healthy. Now, according to head of the Elephant Voices charity Joyce Poole, in some regions 98% of female elephants have no tusks. Discussion Ideas Most African elephants have tusks. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. Ivory tusks are a blessing and curse for elephants give the elephant a majesty over other animals as well as a unique tool but they have also led to the senseless slaughter of millions of these amazing animals. Elephants can easily snap bamboo with their trunk and body weight, and it is possible they can do the same with an opponent's tusks. And that, in itself, is a problem. 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