As we all know, elephants are intelligent mammals with a sharp memory and thus the proverb, “an elephant never forgets.”
Apart from that, what else comes to your mind when thinking of an elephant? Oh yes! The tusk!
The elephants with Tusks are known as ‘Tuskers.’ The video today in ‘wild elephant ‘will give you a ride to the world of tuskers.
Now, let’s see what tusks are of an elephant. One might think that they are similar to a horn of a bull or canines of a sabertoothed tiger. What is your opinion? Do you think any of these is correct? Let’s see.
In reality, tusks are teeth. The upper incisors of elephants grow extensively resulting in tusks.
The elephants’ dentition has only two upper incisors, three premolars, and three molars, and they lack canines entirely. These upper two incisors give rise to the tusks. The tusks are not present in every elephant and are not a trait of sexuality. Therefore, a tusk’s presence does not make the elephant a male as females also have tusks.
Mostly the tusks of the females are small, and sometimes they can hardly be seen from outside. These small “tusks” are known as ‘tushes’ rather than tusks. Even elephants with well-grown tusks initially start their development by having tushes.
In the Asian elephant at present, tusks are less frequently present than in African elephants. The incidence of tusks in elephants is now much less common than it was before. Even in the tuskers, the tusk’s size is smaller than before. This is a hot research topic in for biologists and veterinarians.
Earlier, the tusks gave elephants a survival advantage. They used it to fight, dig, and to tear facilitating tuskers to win fights and find more food. Therefore, males with tusks had a clear advantage over a tusk-less elephant in approaching a female. If this is true, then tusks should be more abundant rather than being rare.
What do you think the reason for this decrease in the tusker population?
According to research, the main reason for losing the tusk or decrease in its size is humans. Ivory and pearls from elephant tusks are extremely valuable in human context. This has caused elephants to be poached at a high rate, favouring elephants with no or small tusks to have a survival advantage making the tuskers push critically towards extinction.
Hope you gained a good knowledge of “tusks” of the elephants through today’s video, and we hope you would help us in protecting these innocent souls from the human-danger.
Await for more informative videos on “The Wild Elephant”.