Skip to content

Little elephant is the first scientific record of dwarfism in the wild

December 20, 2013

A jungle scientist

This piece was written for the environmental news website mongabay.com, the original can be found here.
Biologists in Sri Lanka have published the first documented evidence of dwarfism in an adult wild animal. A male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) measuring just over 1.5 meters (five feet) in height was seen in an aggressive encounter with another male of average size. The elephant’s small stature was due to disproportionately short legs, according to the findings published in the IUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group journal Gajah. “The ‘dwarf’ was by far the main aggressor in the altercation and appeared to be older than the other, a young adult,” states the study. “Other than for the disproportionately short legs, morphologically and behaviorally the dwarf appeared normal.”The dwarf adult male was in musth when researchers saw it, with visible temporal gland secretions. Also visible is a scar at the tip of the trunk, inflicted by a noose set to catch bushmeat. Photo by Brad Abbott.Dwarf adult Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Photo by Brad Abbott.Dwarfism is a condition in which either the limbs are disproportionately short relative to…

View original post 486 more words

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: