Ivory poaching has led to evolution of tuskless elephants, study finds

Ivory poaching over decades has led to the evolution of tuskless elephants, researchers have found, proving that humans are “literally changing the anatomy” of wild animals. A previously rare genetic mutation causing tusklessness has become very common in some groups of African elephants after a period in which many were killed for their tusks, according to a study published in the journal Science.

Robert Pringle, of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University, which led the study, said it showed the impact of human interference in nature.He said: “What I think this study shows is that it’s more than just numbers. The impacts that people have, we’re literally changing the anatomy of animals.”

  • This is so sad…

It is sad and shouldn’t be a necessary part of an elephants evolution but if nature has found its own way to the help elephants survive that has to be a good thing… :slightly_smiling_face:

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GOOD…Now perhaps the horrible bas?ards that poach them will stop their evil trade.


Meg, I don’t know if its a good thing…elephants need tusks for survival…they use tusks like limbs. Its like us having no arms. (Not that I’m an elephant expert by any means, just watched a lot of documentaries) But I do hope Mother Nature helps them adapt…Man does so much damage to nature as it is. :frowning:

Hmm. I don’t think it really is a good thing but better than slaughtering these majestic animals for their ivory…