Current Elephant News and Events

Current Elephant News and Events, Elephant News Articles.
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Human-elephant conflict in Kenya heightens with increase in crop-raiding
A new study led by the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has found that elephants living around the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, are crop-raiding closer to the protected area, more frequently and throughout the year but are causing less damage when doing so. (2021-02-04)

How elephants evolved to become big and cancer-resistant
In this new study, 'We explored how elephants and their living and extinct relatives evolved to be cancer-resistant,' says University at Buffalo biologist Vincent Lynch. He adds, regarding the findings, 'Elephants have lots and lots and lots of extra copies of tumor suppressor genes, and they all contribute probably a little bit to cancer resistance.' (2021-02-04)

Human-generated noise pollution dominates the ocean's soundscape
The soundscapes of the Anthropocene ocean are fundamentally different from those of pre-industrial times, becoming more and more a raucous cacophony as the noise from human activity has grown louder and more prevalent. (2021-02-04)

Elephant ivory continues to be disguised and sold on eBay
Research from the University of Kent's Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) has found that elephant ivory is still being sold on the online marketplace eBay, despite its 10-year-old policy banning the trade in ivory. (2021-01-04)

Shipwrecked ivory a treasure trove for understanding elephants and 16th century trading
An international collaboration of researchers in Namibia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States reporting in the journal Current Biology on December 17 have found that the cargo of a 16th century shipwreck known as the Bom Jesu included more than 100 elephant tusks, which paleogenomic and isotopic analyses trace to many distinct herds that once roamed West Africa. (2020-12-17)

Study tracks elephant tusks from 16th century shipwreck
In 1533, the Bom Jesus - a Portuguese trading vessel carrying 40 tons of cargo including gold, silver, copper and more than 100 elephant tusks - sank off the coast of Africa near present-day Namibia. The wreck was found in 2008, and scientists say they now have determined the source of much of the ivory recovered from the ship. (2020-12-17)

Why do elephants and tigers still roam in India? Study offers clues
A study documenting four extinctions of large mammals on the Indian Subcontinent sheds light on why elephants, tigers, and rhinos still roam there. (2020-12-08)

The wily octopus: king of flexibility
Octopuses have the most flexible appendages known in nature, according to a new study in Scientific Reports. In addition to being soft and strong, each of the animal's eight arms can bend, twist, elongate and shorten in many combinations to produce diverse movements. Researchers at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) filmed 10 octopuses over many months while presenting them with a variety of challenges, and recorded 16,563 examples of these arm movements. (2020-11-30)

Elephant genetics guide conservation
A large-scale study of African elephant genetics in Tanzania reveals the history of elephant populations, how they interact, and what areas may be critical to conserve in order to preserve genetic diversity of the species. (2020-11-19)

New 'robotic snake' device grips, picks up objects
An invention similar to an elephant's trunk has potential benefits for many industries where handling delicate objects is essential, say the UNSW researchers who developed it. (2020-11-09)

DNA sleuths target ivory poachers
The tiniest amount of DNA is being accurately analysed to identify the origins of old ivory. This clever new technique has the potential to thwart international ivory poachers, by placing the origins of ivory pieces into accurate source locations, thereby identifying specific areas where ivory poachers are actively operating. (2020-10-26)

Dietary migration of Impala rivals the geographical migration of Serengeti wildebeest
Study shows the Impala's migration is a 'dietary migration', where they switch from eating mostly grass in the wet season, to eating more tree leaves or 'browse' during the dry season. (2020-10-08)

Past tropical forest changes drove megafauna and hominin extinctions
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH) and Griffith University have discovered that Southeast Asia, today renowned for its lush rainforests, was at various points in the past covered by sweeping grasslands. The expansion and reduction of these grasslands had drastic effects on local megafauna, variously supporting success and inducing extinction. (2020-10-07)

Old males vital to elephant societies
Old male elephants play a key role in leading all-male groups, new research suggests. (2020-09-03)

Following African elephant trails to approach conservation differently
Elephant trails may lead the way to better conservation approaches. 'Think of elephants as engineers of the forests. Elephants shape the landscape in many ways that benefit humans. We're talking thousands of miles of trails. If we think about the loss of elephants over time, then we will see the forest structure change and human activities also would shift.' (2020-08-31)

Getting a grip on near-field light
Harvard researchers have developed a system to mold near-field light -- opening the door to unprecedented control over this powerful, largely unexplored type of light. (2020-07-23)

Ultracold mystery: Solved
Last December, Harvard researchers designed technology that could achieve the lowest temperature chemical reactions and then broke and formed the coldest bonds in the history of molecular coupling. Now, though reactions are considered too fast to measure, they determined the exact lifespan of their intermediate--the space between reactants and products--and solved the mystery of why some ultracold molecules simply disappear. (2020-07-20)

Insight into toddlers' awareness of their own uncertainty
Toddlers may not be able to describe their feelings of uncertainty, but a new study from the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis provides evidence that toddlers may experience and deal with uncertainty in decision making in the same way as older children and adults. (2020-07-20)

Quantum jump tipping the balance
Measuring tiny differences in mass between different quantum states provides new insights into heavy atoms. (2020-05-07)

New findings highlight threatened status of forest elephants
Conservation efforts for the African forest elephant have been hindered by how little is known the large animal, according to researchers. In a new study, an international team of researchers now estimates that the population of the species is 40 to 80% smaller than previously thought. (2020-04-29)

Elephant welfare can be assessed using two indicators
In two new studies, scientists from the University of Turku, Finland, have investigated how to measure stress in semi-captive working elephants. The studies suggest that both physiological and behavioral approaches can be used to reliably assess the well-being of semi-captive Asian elephants. (2020-04-01)

Our oceans are suffering, but we can rebuild marine life
It's not too late to rescue global marine life, according to a study outlining the steps needed for marine ecosystems to recover from damage by 2050. University of Queensland scientist Professor Catherine Lovelock said the study found many components of marine ecosystems could be rebuilt if we try harder to address the causes of their decline. (2020-04-01)

Understanding mechanics and materials though evolution and biomaterials
Studying the evolution of bodily processes millions of years ago as well as the properties of today's biomaterials could improve soft robotics design and inform materials science research. At the 2020 American Physical Society March Meeting in Denver, scientists will present research on mineralized skeletons, other biomaterials, and the mathematics of aging. (2020-03-02)

Threatened birds and mammals have irreplaceable roles in the natural world
A new study led from the University of Southampton has shown that threatened birds and mammals are often ecologically distinct and irreplaceable in their environment. (2020-02-24)

Taming age survival of Asian elephants three times higher than in the 1970s
Researchers from the University of Turku (UTU) in Finland, and veterinarians from the Myanma Timber Enterprise (MTE) in Myanmar have investigated the trends behind Asian elephant calf mortality during the taming period. They found that calves that were younger at the onset of taming and those with less experienced mothers were more likely to die during taming. Calf mortality in taming age was notably higher than that of wild elephants of the same age. (2020-02-12)

Researchers study elephants' unique interactions with their dead
Stories of unique and sentient interactions between elephants and their dead are a familiar part of the species' lore, but a comprehensive study of these interactions has been lacking -- until now. A recent review of documented field observations of elephants at carcasses reveals patterns of elephants' behavior toward their dead, regardless of the strength of former relationships with the deceased individual. (2020-02-06)

A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants
About 800,000 years ago, the giant straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon migrated out of Africa and became widespread across Europe and Asia. (2020-01-21)

Inside story on cassowary evolution
One of the largest living birds, the cassowary, has a simple throat structure similar to the fellow Australian emu. Now new research confirms a common link between the cassowary and small flighted South American tinamou - and even the extinct large New Zealand moa. (2020-01-13)

Broadest study to date of Bornean elephants yields insight into their habitat selection
In collaboration with scientists from Danau Girang Field Centre, Harvard University, and the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership, scientists from the Arizona State University Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science (GDCS) led the broadest study to date that assesses how elephants utilize different landscapes in Sabah. The research study was published on January 10, 2020, in the journal Global Ecology and Conservation. (2020-01-10)

Over-hunting walruses contributed to the collapse of Norse Greenland, study suggests
Norse Greenlanders may have chased dwindling walrus herds ever farther north in an effort to maintain their economy, when the value of walrus ivory tanked after the introduction of elephant tusks into European markets in the 1200s. (2020-01-06)

How minds make meaning
Meaning is central to language. But how do we combine the building blocks of thought and language to compose meaning? A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, edited by Andrea E. Martin from the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics and Giosuè Baggio from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, brings together fifteen contributions from the fields of linguistics, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and computer science to answer this age-old question. (2019-12-16)

Biology: Genetic 'clock' predicts lifespan in vertebrates
A model that uses genetic markers to accurately estimate the lifespans of different vertebrate species is presented in a study in Scientific Reports this week. The 'lifespan clock' screens 42 selected genes for CpG sites, short pieces of DNA whose density is correlated with lifespan, to predict how long members of a given vertebrate species may live. (2019-12-12)

Deciphering the equations of life
Research led by the University of Arizona has resulted in a set of equations that describes and predicts commonalities across life despite its enormous diversity. The new theory allows predictions for organisms that might not be well understood by science. (2019-12-11)

In hunted rainforests, termites lose their dominance
Termite populations in African rainforests decline sharply when elephants and other large animals disappear. Reduced dung and deadwood after large herbivores are hunted out may harm the forest's 'ecosystem engineers.' (2019-12-02)

Voyager 2 reaches interstellar space
University of Iowa researchers report the spacecraft Voyager 2 has reached interstellar space, following Voyager 1's historic passage six years ago. In the study, the researchers note a jump in plasma density detected by an Iowa-led plasma wave instrument on the spacecraft as evidence Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space. (2019-11-04)

Online tool speeds response to elephant poaching by tracing ivory to source
A new tool uses an interactive database of geographic and genetic information to quickly identify where the confiscated tusks of African elephants were originally poached. It matches genetic sequences from poached ivory to those in the database. It relies on genetic information from a small, highly variable region of mitochondrial DNA from African elephants. This allows a more precise picture of the origin of the ivory. It also takes only about six days, researchers said. (2019-11-01)

Cesium vapor aids in the search for dark matter
Physicists at Mainz University manage to further narrow down range of the search for dark matter (2019-10-07)

A mouse or an elephant: what species fights infection more effectively?
Hamilton College Assistant Professor of Biology Cynthia Downs led a study with co-authors from North Dakota State University, University of California, Davis, Eckerd College, and University of South Florida that investigated whether body mass was related to concentrations of two important immune cell types in the blood among hundreds of species of mammals ranging from tiny Jamaican fruit bats (~40 g) to giant killer whales (~5,600 kg). (2019-09-25)

Planned roads would be 'dagger in the heart' for Borneo's forests and wildlife
Malaysia's plans to create a Pan-Borneo Highway will severely degrade one of the world's most environmentally imperilled regions, says a research team from Australia and Malaysia. (2019-09-18)

Elephant seal 'supermoms' produce most of the population, study finds
Most of the pups born in an elephant seal colony in California over a span of five decades were produced by a relatively small number of long-lived 'supermoms,' according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz. (2019-09-17)

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