If you’re playing the original ordinary pursuit Game, “How many kinds of elephants are there?” The answer will be two. But in 2000, scientists analyzed the DNA of elephants and discovered that African elephants living in savannas and African elephants living in tropical rainforests are actually two distinct species.so now your answer ordinary pursuit The question will be three!
How many species of elephants are alive today?
There are currently three types of elephants in the world:
- African bush elephant: largest elephant species
- african forest elephant: 2000 DNA Evidence Points to ‘Newest’ Elephant Species of a Unique Species
- Asian elephant: Elephants Living Across Asia Have Significant Physical Differences From African Elephants
Now, you may have heard of other types of elephants as well. Asia has 3-4 (scientists are still debating this number) subspecies A subgroup of Asian elephants. Let’s dive into the differences between each type of elephant!
Species #1: African bush elephant
The African bush-like elephant is the largest and is characterized by large ears in the shape of Africa. They have long trunks and huge white tusks. Compared to African forest elephants, savannah elephants have longer front legs than hind legs, larger ears, and tusks that are more curved and point outward. Another difference is that, as their name suggests, they live in savannas and feed mainly on grasses.
Species #2: african forest elephant
African forest figures are smaller than savannah figures and have more oval ears. They also have long trunks and large tusks, but their tusks are straighter and point downward.Ivory also has a pink tinge, making them more susceptible to
poachers. Forest like living in the rainforest, where they can find a lot of fruit, which is their main source of diet. They also eat grass, leaves, seeds and bark.
Species #3: Asian Elephant
Asian figs are smaller than African bush figs and are dark gray to dark brown in color with depigmented skin (macules of unpigmented skin). There are 3-4 subspecies of Asian elephants depending on the area of residence. One obvious difference between Asian and African elephants is that the Asian elephant’s head is double-domed, meaning it has a groove in the middle. Another difference is that only male Asian elephants grow tusks, while both male and female African elephants can grow tusks. Check out the three or four subspecies of the Asian elephant here for some unique facts about each subspecies:
- indian elephant: The most common Asian elephant, there are only 26,000-30,000 left in Asia.
- sri lanka elephant: Largest subspecies, weighing 4,000-12,000 lbs.
- Sumatran elephant: These elephants have more prevalent skin color and fewer areas of depigmentation. They are smaller than the larger ones in India and Sri Lanka.
- borneo elephant: The smallest subspecies of Asia, sometimes called the Bornean pygmy elephant.
As we are able to do more research on each of these specific species and subspecies, we can learn more about their habitat, diet and reproduction so that we can increase their numbers and move them off the endangered list remove. Each elephant species plays a key role in contributing to its ecosystem, and as humans we can help protect them so they can thrive again!
Types of Extinct Elephants
Although there are only three species of elephants left today, other elephants roamed the earth until thousands of years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the recently extinct elephant species.
- Mammoth: Mammoths are closely related to Asian elephants and are known to roam the vast Eurasian steppes. However, mammoth species can also be found in North America, Africa and Europe. The last surviving mammoth was the woolly mammoth, which is believed to have become extinct about 4,000 years ago, with the last populations surviving on islands off the northern coast of Russia.
- Straight tusk: A straight-tusked elephant— Palaeoloxodon namadicus – Possibly the largest land animal on Earth! It is estimated that most orthodonts became extinct about 30,000 years ago. One such species, the pygmy tusk, lived on Mediterranean islands and is thought to be the last surviving species, hunted to extinction by humans about 3,000 years ago.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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