Current Elephants News and Events

Current Elephants News and Events, Elephants News Articles.
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I, the obstacle -- dogs show body-awareness, a new component of mental self-representation
Dogs understand the relationship between their body and the environment in a problem solving task. Researchers found that dogs can recognise their body as an obstacle, which ability is one of the basic manifestations of self-representation in humans. Self-representation is the ability of holding information in one's own mental model about themselves. In humans this capacity reached an extremely complex form, called self-consciousness. (2021-02-18)

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)

Loggerhead sea turtles lay eggs in multiple locations to improve reproductive success
Although loggerhead sea turtles return to the same beach where they hatched to lay their eggs, a new study finds individual females lay numerous clutches of eggs in locations miles apart from each other to increase the chance that some of their offspring will survive. (2021-01-28)

Counting elephants from space
For the first time, scientists have successfully used satellite cameras coupled with deep learning to count animals in complex geographical landscapes, taking conservationists an important step forward in monitoring populations of endangered species. (2021-01-19)

A new species of mammal may have been found in Africa's montane forests
A research team from the University of Helsinki has discovered a tree hyrax in the Taita Hills, Kenya, which may belong to a species previously unknown to science. (2020-12-22)

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)

Miniature guttural toads on Mauritius and RĂ©union stun researchers
Researchers from the DSI/NRF Center for Invasion Biology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa have found that, scarcely a hundred years after Guttural Toads were introduced to the islands of Mauritius and RĂ©union, their overall body size has been reduced by up to a third compared to their counterparts in South Africa. (2020-12-08)

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)

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)

Stirling experts lead research into impact of climate change on rainforest elephants
Experts from the University of Stirling, working closely with the Government of Gabon, have led an international study into the impact of climate change on Central Africa's rainforests and the threat posed to elephant populations in the region. (2020-09-24)

Jellyfish with your chips?
Jellyfish could replace fish and chips on a new sustainable takeaway menu to help keep threatened species off the plate. University of Queensland researchers found 92 endangered and 11 critically endangered species of seafood were caught in oceans around the world after analysing global industrial fishing records. (2020-09-21)

Ancient human footprints in Saudi Arabia give glimpse of Arabian ecology 120000 years ago
Using high resolution paleoecological information obtained from fossilized footprints, a new study published in Science Advances presents ~120 thousand-year-old human and animal footprints from an ancient lake bed in northern Arabia. These findings represent the earliest evidence for humans in this part of the world and show that human and animal movements and landscape use were closely linked. (2020-09-18)

How do giraffes and elephants alter the African Savanna landscape?
Through their foraging behavior across the diverse topography of the African savanna, megaherbivores may be unknowingly influencing the growth and survival of vegetation on valleys and plateaus, while preserving steep slopes as habitat refugia. (2020-09-14)

The surprising rhythms of Leopards: Females are early birds, males are nocturnal
After 10 months of camera surveillance in the Tanzanian rainforest, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have become the first to conclude that female and male leopards are active at very different times of the day. The discovery contradicts previous assumptions and could be used to help protect the endangered feline, whose populations have dwindled by 85 percent over the past century. (2020-09-10)

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)

Big mammals at higher risk of extinction in world's poorest countries, study reveals
A review, which looks at 81 studies carried out between 1980 and 2020, has found that illegal hunting is causing worrying declines in the big mammal populations of protected areas across the globe, and particularly in poorer countries. (2020-08-24)

Behavioural variability in captive African elephants in the use of the trunk while feeding
The behaviours implied in the manipulation of food items by captive African elephants were correlated with the shape and size of these items. Despite a common ethogram, all the elephants showed different frequencies in the use of at least one behaviour. (2020-08-18)

Researcher reconstructs skull of two million year-old giant dormouse
A researcher has digitally pieced together fossilised fragments from five giant dormouse skulls to reconstruct the first known complete skull of the species, which was roughly the size of a cat. (2020-07-09)

Animals who try to sound 'bigger' are good at learning sounds
Some animals fake their body size by sounding 'bigger' than they actually are. Maxime Garcia from the University of Zurich and Andrea Ravignani from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics studied 164 different mammals and found that animals who lower their voice to sound bigger are often skilled vocalists. Both strategies--sounding bigger and learning sounds--are likely driven by sexual selection, and may play a role in explaining the origins of human speech evolution. (2020-07-08)

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)

Disappearance of animal species takes mental, cultural and material toll on humans
The research reveals that hunter-gatherer societies expressed a deep emotional and psychological connection with the animal species they hunted, especially after their disappearance. The study will help anthropologists and others understand the profound environmental changes taking place in our own lifetimes. (2020-04-27)

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)

Six million-year-old bird skeleton points to arid past of Tibetan plateau
Researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found a new species of sandgrouse in six to nine million-year-old rocks in Gansu Province in western China. The newly discovered species points to dry, arid habitats near the edge of the Tibetan Plateau as it rose to its current extreme altitude. (2020-04-01)

Scientists investigate why females live longer than males
An international team of scientists found that, like humans, female wild animals tend to live longer than males. (2020-03-24)

Christmas Island discovery redraws map of life
The world's animal distribution map will need to be redrawn and textbooks updated, after researchers discovered the existence of 'Australian' species on Christmas Island. The University of Queensland's Professor Jonathan Aitchison said the finding revises the long-held understanding of the location of one of biology and geography's most significant barriers - the Wallace line. (2020-03-22)

Climate shifts prompt shrubs and trees to take root in open areas
Wild, treeless landscapes are becoming more wooded as climate change leads to warming temperatures and wetter weather, research suggests. (2020-03-10)

Amazon rainforest could be gone within a lifetime
Writing in Nature Communications, researchers from Bangor University, Southampton University and The School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, reveal the speed at which ecosystems of different sizes will disappear, once they have reached a point beyond which they collapse -- transforming into an alternative ecosystem. (2020-03-10)

Unexpected ways animals influence fires
Animals eating plants might seem like an obvious way to suppress fire, and humans are already using the enormous appetites of goats, deer, and cows to reduce the fuel available for potential wildfires. But other animals such as birds, termites, and elephants can also double as ecosystem engineers as they go about their day-to-day grass-chewing, track-making, or nest-building. Researchers describe these activities March 5 in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution. (2020-03-05)

Balancing bushmeat trade and conservation vital to ensure livelihoods not threatened
Local communities in the Congo rainforest have been working with researchers from the University of York in a bid to balance the bushmeat trade with conservation. (2020-03-05)

Why is the female wallaby always pregnant?
Researchers show that female swamp wallabies ovulate, mate, and form a new embryo prepartum, while continuously supporting conceptuses and young at different development stages before and after birth. (2020-03-03)

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)

Study resurrects mammoth DNA to explore the cause of their extinction
A new study in Genome Biology and Evolution, published by Oxford University Press, resurrected the mutated genes of the last herd of woolly mammoths and found that their small population had developed a number of genetic defects that may have proved fatal for the species. (2020-02-07)

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)

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