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Intense ivory poaching leads to rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

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.

Researchers looked at why female elephants in Gorongosa national park in Mozambique were frequently born without tusks, and found that the animals were in effect genetically engineered by mass poaching for ivory.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/21/ivory-poaching-evolution-tuskless-elephants-study

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Ivory poaching and the rapid evolution of tusklessness in African elephants

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abe7389

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Sad that they have to be tuskless, but good if it means they live. Now sharks need to learn to swim without a dorsal fin and rhinos to do without a horn.

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Evolution does not work like that.

The headline should be:

Tuskless mutation in some African elephants gives them survival advantage due to poaching.

The mutation did not come because of poaching. But it became an advantage because of it.

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2 hours ago, zep73 said:

Evolution does not work like that.

The headline should be:

Tuskless mutation in some African elephants gives them survival advantage due to poaching.

The mutation did not come because of poaching. But it became an advantage because of it.

Breathe the air...ah...the air...the fresh air of 'knowing'....  thank you!

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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.

What researchers found that evolution occurs in decades?  Humans are not changing the anatomy of wild animals.  Humans are making some species of animals extinct because of their greed and lust.  @zep73 is exactly right!  Evolution doesn't work that way! 

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3 hours ago, zep73 said:

Evolution does not work like that.

The headline should be:

Tuskless mutation in some African elephants gives them survival advantage due to poaching.

The mutation did not come because of poaching. But it became an advantage because of it.

It's amazing in this day and age that media sources would even publish something like this. I think most children today have limited knowledge of how evolution works by the 5th grade, and it is embarrassing that adults running a media source would not have enough sense to disregard or at least correct such nonsense!:(

Whats worst is a Scientific Magazine would publish such complete and utter nonsense, I think they should change their name!!:lol:

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abe7389

Edited by Manwon Lender
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43 minutes ago, joc said:

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.

What researchers found that evolution occurs in decades?  Humans are not changing the anatomy of wild animals.  Humans are making some species of animals extinct because of their greed and lust.  @zep73 is exactly right!  Evolution doesn't work that way! 

There are real species in the process of evolution all around us. When I was stationed at Ft. Stewart Georgia I caught one of them. It was a slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) and it is considered a legless lizard in the familyAnguidae. Why it evolved this way, is anyone's guess, but this change had some purpose and occurred over millions of years not hundreds of years like the Elephants in the OP. What is happening to the Elephants at the location mentioned in Africa is a mutation. 

Peace

B1877453-D84E-48B5-946A-A038F71EE27A-16047-00000D44986D63C4.png

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
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Most people think of evolution as something that proceeds slowly, but humans can hit the accelerator.

"When we think about natural selection, we think about it happening over hundreds, or thousands, of years," said Samuel Wasser, a conservation biologist at the University of Washington, who was not involved in the research. "The fact that this dramatic selection for tusklessness happened over 15 years is one of the most astonishing findings."

https://phys.org/news/2021-10-tusks-poaching-scales-elephant-evolution.html

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