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Tuskless Elephants Through Evolution

Reuters reports that Chinese elephants are evolving to have shorter or missing tusks as a result of poaching.

Five to 10 percent of Asian elephants in China now had a gene that prevented the development of tusks, up from the usual 2 to 5 percent, the China Daily said, quoting research from Beijing Normal University.

"The larger tusks the male elephant has, the more likely it will be shot by poachers," said researcher Zhang Li, an associate professor of zoology. "Therefore, the ones without tusks survive, preserving the tuskless gene in the species."

Similar results are also said to be found in Africa and India.


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