Shocking! Elephants are evolving to born without tusks

Those old days has gone when we can appreciate the charismatic wonders & beauty of the mother nature.

In today’s world, everything is becoming artificial. Even evolution is being controlled by humans. The latest case is the weird natural selection of tuskless elephants due to poaching.

So, don’t be surprised if you don’t see tusks (outer teeth) on an elephant anymore!

Rakesh Barwar

The Real Story

Various researches were done by National Geographic and it was reported that either mostly female elephants have small tusks or born without tusks. Also, the size of a male elephant’s tusks has reduced.

Let us see the stats to understand it:

Evolution of Tusklessness
  • In un-poached population, 96% of the population have tusks aka outer teeth. (represented as green)
  • Also, we can see 35% to 51% of tuskless female elephants where poaching is prevalent. (represented as red)

Evolution of Tusklessness

Over time, many animals have to adapt and evolve according to their environment. Those who are not able to adapt, have extinct.

The clear reason behind this evolution is the ruthless and excessive poaching of elephants for ivory.

They pass more of their genes onto the next generation and here starts evolution of tusklessness.

When poachers were removing elephants from a population that have the capacity to grow tusks, the elephants that lack that capacity have a higher chance of survival. This natural selection appears to be favouring elephants born without tusks.

Due to this:

  • elephants are being born without tusks.
  • it also pushed tusk sizes down in some heavily hunted areas.

Importance of Tusks

Elephants born without tusks are surviving and appears to be healthy.

Tusks are huge overgrown teeth. They are used for most daily tasks like digging for water in the ground, debarking trees for fibrous food & for self-defence and for sexual display.

SourceNat Geo
Rakesh Barwar
Rakesh Barwar
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Last DNA. My passion for technology and biotechnology give rise to this awesome site. I write articles that can be easily understood by a majority of people, therefore making biotech simple and interesting!


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