Home World Why is there an increase in elephants born without ivory? “The rise of poaching”

Why is there an increase in elephants born without ivory? “The rise of poaching”

by news dir

▲ Elephant

As poaching is rampant in Africa, the number of elephants born without tusks (tusks) has increased, a study has found.

On the 21st (local time), Professor Robert Pringle of Princeton University in the US published a study in the international academic journal ‘Science’ that ivory poaching during the 1977-1992 civil war in Mozambique had an impact on the evolution of female African savannah elephants.

African elephants were particularly at risk of capture during the civil war in Mozambique, with about 90% of the population being slaughtered by armed forces. The militants captured elephants and sold their ivory to finance the purchase of weapons.

The research team wanted to determine whether it is related to genetic factors or gender, paying attention to the fact that among the African savannah elephants in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, females are often born without tusks.

As a result of DNA analysis of blood samples from seven female elephants with ivory and 11 without tusks, the researchers suggest that a mutation in one side of the X sex chromosome, including a gene that contributes to the development of teeth in mammals, may have caused the ivory to disappear. has analyzed.

Females have XX sex chromosomes and males have XY sex chromosomes. If there is a mutation in the X sex chromosome, the female loses ivory and the male is more likely to abort in the mother’s womb. He pointed out that these changes also affect the entire ecosystem.

Ivory is used by elephants as a multi-purpose tool, such as digging up food and debarking trees. The increase in ivory-free elephants could affect other ecosystem properties, such as plant species composition, he said.

“When we think about natural selection, we think of things that happen over hundreds or thousands of years,” said American biologist Samuel Wasser of the findings. One of them,” he told The Associated Press.

Professor Pringle, who led the study, said in an interview with the British daily The Guardian, “It shows the impact of human intervention in nature.

However, he said, “The number of elephants has more than tripled since the 1990s, when elephants were threatened with extinction.

By Lim Hyo-jin, staff reporter [email protected]

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.