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 Post subject: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:31 am 
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The African elephant as we know it has been reclassified as 2 different species.

Up till now it has been believed that the African Bush Elephant and the African Savannah Elephant were one and the same species and it was only due to their totally different habitat that they look so different.

Researchers in York have established, through their DNA pattern, that it is in fact 2 totally different species. They are just as different as an Indian Elephant and a Woolly Mammoth.

So we have in fact the 2 biggest land based Mammals on the Earth. :dance: :big_eyes:


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:45 am 
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Michel, has that now been officially done? Names? Species or subspecies? I do know that I've read of this before. And wasn't there even talk of splitting off another (sub?)species, somewhere in West Africa? Or am I confused with this one now?

Do you have a source where one can read more?

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:51 am 
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Thank you Michel , that is very interesting :thumbs_up: You are of course talking of the elephant occuring in the forests of Zaire which is somewhat smaller than the savannah ellephant :hmz:

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:53 am 
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Hi Bishop.

Yes I do have a source, but it is in Dutch. I am trying to find it in English and then I will put the source here.

Yep Okie. That is the one. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:02 am 
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If you only find the Dutch that is fine - close enough to Afrikaans for me to understand it. Unfortunately not for all who will read here. :tongue:

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:04 am 
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We might be looking at getting a classification like this:

Savannah Elephant

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Loxodonta
Species: L. africana


Bush/ Forest Elephant

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Loxodonta
Species: L. cyclotis

But that is just my thinking process.
Let's just wait and see what the intellectuals have to say about it. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:06 am 
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Heres a piece from nature, they list two soirces so im going to try and get a hold of them, interesting stuff :thumbs_up:
Quote:
African elephants are two distinct species
Genomic analysis shows split happened much earlier than previously thought.

Natasha Gilbert


A tussle over whether African elephants are one species or two has been settled by DNA analysis.Gerry Ellis/Minden Pictures/FLPA RM
African forest-dwelling elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) are a separate species from those living in the African savanna (Loxodonta africana), researchers have shown.

Scientists have long debated whether African elephants belong to the same or different species. They look very different, with the savanna elephant weighing around 7 tonnes — roughly double the weight of the forest elephant. But studies had suggested they were the same species — DNA in mitochondria (the cell's energy factories) from African elephants found evidence of interbreeding between forest and savanna elephants around 500,000 years ago2.

Now a group of scientists have taken a deeper look at the African elephants' genetic ancestry. The researchers sequenced the nuclear genomes of both types of African elephant, as well as that of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). They also extracted and sequenced DNA from the extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) and mastodon (Mammut americanum) — ancient elephant ancestors. By comparing all these genomes, the team found that the forest and savanna elephants diverged into separate species between 2.6 and 5.6 million years ago. The study is published online in the journal Plos Biology1.

"They split about the same time as African and Asian elephants split into separate species, and much longer ago than people previously thought," says David Reich, a population geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, and a lead author on the study.

"You can no more call African elephants the same species as you can Asian elephants and the mammoth," he adds.

Conservation consequences

Most researchers agree that the Asian elephant and the mammoth are separate species, says Thomas Gilbert, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen. "But this study really hammers the coffin shut on any arguments that the forest and savannah are anything but different species, or even genera," he says.

Mitochondrial DNA can only give researchers information on maternal ancestry, as this genetic material is inherited solely from the mother. Examining the nuclear genome, which is around 200,000 times larger than that contained in mitochondria, gives a broader and more accurate picture of elephants' history. "You get a different picture by looking at nuclear DNA", says Reich.

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Mitochondrial DNA evidence suggesting that forest and savanna elephants interbred recently and had a recent shared female ancestor can be explained as a result of the female elephant's social behaviour, the researchers say. Females tend to stay close to their place of birth, while the males roam. Herds of female forest elephants could have repeatedly come into contact and bred with migrating male savanna elephants. Over a long period of time, the forest elephant gene pool would become diluted and displaced by that of the savanna elephants, but the forest DNA would be conserved in the mitochondrial DNA, which is passed on through the female line.

"What we see is an ancient split with a bit of gene flow more recently," he says. Hybridization happens between closely related animals and does not necessarily imply that the two are the same species, he says.

The authors suggest that the findings will help to reprioritize elephant conservation programmes. All African elephants are currently conserved as the same species. But the evidence that they are two distinct species suggests that they may be facing different pressures and require different conservation strategies. The forest elephants should become a greater conservation priority, the study says.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:09 am 
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Great.

Thanks Odessy. :thumbs_up:

Very interesting stuff. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:13 am 
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Here's the paper and most looks like it is visible without having to have an account

Genomic DNA sequences from mastodon and wooly mammoth reveal deep speciation of forest and savanna elephants

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:35 am 
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Years back a group of researchers were in Kenya studying the difference between the elephants found in the plains (Amboseli, Masai Mara and so on) and the ones found the forests (Aberdares, Mount Kenya).
They then concluded that they were two distinct species and each had adapted itself in different ways and according to the environment. Forest elephants were a lot smaller, with smaller tusks and also had a difference in the trunk, something to do with the kind of vegetation each species fed on and ways of reaching it.

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:26 pm 
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True, but that difference was due to their totally different habitats.
Still they were not seen as 2 different species.
Not even different sub- species.

Now they seem to have found the fundamental difference between those 2 in the DNA. :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 3:48 pm 
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Wow
This is totally out of the blue for me I always thought it was o e type of elephant. So are both of these elephant found in kruger. How do you te the difference.

[ Post made via Mobile Device ] Image


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 4:07 pm 
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The dabeaate is old: In 2001 scientists described molecular evidence showing that forest- and savanna-dwelling elephants, would merit their own species name. I am curious to know if a new taxonomy will be established.
BTW: Who decides that African savanna and forest elephants should be classified as two distinct species?


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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:17 pm 
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IMHO it is just a bunch of so-called scientists that need another grant. :slap:

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 Post subject: Re: 2 Different species of African Elephants???
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:14 pm 
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Scips they already completed the study which means that they were successful in getting the grant, and so called scientists :hmz: could you have done better?

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