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General News    H4'ed 3/29/19

(Perhaps) African elephants are evolving to not grow tusks because of poachers

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Over time, many animals have adapted to their environments to avoid danger and natural predators. It appears elephants have begun to adapt to being hunted by poachers for their tusks. Currently, almost a third of the female elephant population in Mozambique does not have tusks. Elephants are hunted and slaughtered for their ivory, with poachers often shooting at elephants from helicopters or small planes, allowing the elephants very little chance of defending themselves or escaping. Despite having imposed a ban in 2017, China is one of the nations where ivory is still more sought after than gold. Ground and ingested, it's touted as being a cure for numerous diseases, and as a way of increasing virility, strength, and fertility.

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June Genis

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The elephants are not "adapting". Obviously a gene mutation has occurred that prevents some elephants from growing tusks. These elephants are not targeted by poachers and thus have a greater probability of surviving into their reproductive years and passing that mutation along to their offspring. That's the way evolution works.

Submitted on Friday, Mar 29, 2019 at 11:44:47 PM

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Stephen Fox

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Reply to June Genis:   New Content
Thank you. That is why I prefaced the article/Quicklink with the word "Perhaps."

Submitted on Saturday, Mar 30, 2019 at 12:57:58 AM

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