Skip to comments.African elephant is two species, researchers say
Posted on 12/21/2010 6:00:58 PM PST by decimon
Genetic researchers may have resolved a long-standing dispute by proving there are two species of African elephant.
Savannah and forest elephants have been separated for at least three million years, they say, and are as distinct from each other as Asian elephants are from the extinct woolly mammoth.
The researchers also made what they say are the first sequences of nuclear DNA from the extinct American mastodon.
"The divergence of the two species took place around the time of the divergence of the Asian elephant and woolly mammoths," said Michi Hofreiter, a specialist in ancient DNA at the UK's York University.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Trunk tree ping.
Hmmm. The DNA is as different as a RINO from a TEA Partier, but both look like an elephant.
But the real question:
When do we see real live woolly mammoths?
That’s what I’m waiting for.
I'd prefer a good clone of Ronaldus Magnus.
Cool. Bring back the mastodon!
I’m not getting how a genetic study establishes speciation. Can they interbreed (with fertile offspring) or not? Has no-one at a zoo ever even tried to interbreed them?
USA! USA! USA!
This is fascinating. They occupy similar geographical regions but continue to breed within their own ‘race’ as it were. This suggests a much higher level of social conditioning, and by default intelligence and self awareness than one might expect from an ‘animal’? :-)
Kind of like the difference between Palin and Romney.
Dissimilar, as savanna and forest. Live Science also has an article on this but I don't see in either article if the two types are anywhere in adjoining areas. I'm guessing they are not.
It’s not at all surprising, Expat. For the same reason a mare would reject a donkey (if given a choice) members of species are instructed what to do by their genes; that is, if a female devotes an egg, the time and resources to raise an offspring, here a calf, the product of mating with a member of a different species, then like the product of the pairing of a female horse and a donkey, the result might be a sterile offspring, as with the mule.
Consequently their genes are not propagated, so that the females who choose to be `open-minded’ produce no offspring with similar genes. The successful elephants went with a sure thing: a male they recognize as being of their own kind.
Was a bear.
Had no hair.
The last line of that “poem” I’ve always seen is...
“Fuzzy Wuzzy really wasn’t very fuzzy wuzzy was he”
Makes sense. Thanks!