Ancient elephant species was twice as heavy as today’s modern cousins

A huge elephant used to roam the Middle East up to 300,000 years ago.

More evidence adds up to support the intelligence of elephants

Researchers have shown that Asian elephants are even smarter than we thought.

Wild elephants need only two hours of sleep — that’s the lowest duration of sleep for any animal

They’re the shortest sleepers in the animal kingdom. Scientists also found elephants get little to no REM sleep, which might be very important.

These animals don’t get cancer, and this might help us obtain a cutre

In the fight with cancer, we need any piece of help we can get. With this in mind, a group of researchers set out to investigate the animals that don’t get cancer (or rarely do) – especially elephants and naked mole rats.

Journalist Uses GPS Trackers and Fake Elephant Tusks to Reveal Smuggling Route

Every year, over 30,000 elephants are murdered, slaughtered for their tusks. Ivory is an extremely valuable commodity, and many people will stop at nothing to get it and sell it. With this in mind, investigative journalist Bryan Christy set out to see what the smuggling route is, so he commissioned a taxidermist to create two fake ivory tusks, which he embedded with

Woolly Mammoth genome sequencing makes cloning a lot more doable

A team at University of Chicago made the most comprehensive woolly mammoth genome sequencing ever. By comparing its genome with that of its distant cousins, the Asian and African elephants, the researchers were able to determine which are the mammoth’s specific genes. These were ran with libraries and repositories to identify what these do. We now know which of mammoth’s gene shaped its uncanny skull and small ears, how it got hair to cover all its body or how the mammoth adapted a special fat metabolism and cold coping mechanism. To test their findings, the researchers transplanted a mammoth gene into a human cell. The kidney cell produced new proteins which were tolerant to heat or cold, as suspected showing their other genetic determinations are also likely correct.

Tracing Ivory DNA helps curb massive poaching that’s killing 1 in 10 elephants each year

We seem to be losing the war on elephant poachers, but a new toolset that involves tracing slaughter hotspots in Africa based on DNA taken from ivory might be exactly what law enforcement needed all these years. This way, researchers at University of Washington, in collaboration with INTERPOL, found that most of the ivory seized since 2006 originates in just two areas.

Woolly mammoth and modern elephant DNA merged. Next, cloning

Cloning the woolly mammoth is a life long dream for many geneticists and biologists, but the challenges are numerous. Now, we’ve come a step closer after researchers replaced snips of elephant DNA with those from the woolly mammoth. The changes they’ve made so far are stable, and even though there’s still much work ahead, little by little scientists are building the mammoth’s genome one piece at a time. Next stop: actually cloning the mammoth, effectively resurrecting the species back from the dead.

Why the most expensive coffee in the world is ingested and then defecated

There are many types of coffee in the world, and the price can vary greatly. But the most expensive type is the one that have been ingested and defecated. What makes this process so special? The answer, as usually with foods and beverages, is chemistry. Digested coffee Civet Coffee Kopi luwak or civet coffee, refers to the seeds of coffee berries that have

Elephant overhunting kills Tropical Forest as well in cascading effect

We’re used to hearing how elephants are driven off by habitat lost, but never the other way around. Researchers at University of Florida claim that as overhunting has dramatically cut the number of elephants in the wild, but since these also disperse seeds, it seems like dominant tree species are also dying off. Along with the trees, other forest life is sure

100,000 elephants killed in Africa between 2010 and 2012, study finds

Most societies in Africa are leading an uphill battle in their attempt to ensure safety, good health and food security. But for African animals, it’s even worse. Poachers alone killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, raising new concerns about the species’ survival. Poaching in Africa is huge – the term ‘crisis’ has rarely been used

This sweet shrew looks like a mouse but is more related to elephants

A new mammalian species has been discovered among the ancient volcanic formation in Namibia that resembles a long-nosed mouse, but which as it turns out is more genetically related to elephants. Further analysis found that the tiny mouse-like creature is the smallest of a group of animals called elephant shrews. Named Macroscelides micus, the creature sports red fur to help

Central African elephant population more than halved in a decade

An international team of researchers set out on the daunting task of surveying the Central African elephant population. Their results offer a new harsh cold shower as to the critical situation wildlife our planet is currently in. Their findings suggest the African elephant population in the area has plummeted by a staggering 62% and their range has dwindled by 30%

Tusk DNA tracking to handle illegal trade

International treaties to protect the elephants are not working – that’s the sad truth. There is no real, practical way of enforcing them, and as a result, whatever few elephants are left are still being tracked down and hunted, mostly for their tusks. Researchers estimate that tens of thousands of African elephants are now being killed by poachers each year,

Elephants cooperate to save baby elephant from drowning

It is already known, and proven numerous times that elephants are incredibly intelligent, cooperative, and kind. Here is another video that goes to show how admirable these animals are; when a youngster is in danger of drowning, everybody moves in to help. Breathtaking ! If only more humans were like this…

Elephants cooperate, showing us (again) how smart they are

Elephants are absolutely amazing animals, from numerous points of view; they are extremely loyal and loving creatures, they have evolved up to the point where they have almost no natural enemy (except man), and they are smart – very smart ! Joshua Plotnik, a comparative psychologist at the University of Cambridge in England and head of elephant research for the