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plate 46


Fluorescent zebrafish

Elephant that has no tusk


Intense poaching by ivory hunters has caused a shift in the gene pool of Asian elephants, leading to a steep rise in tuskless herds. Male elephants grow tusks, but typically around 2 to 5% have a genetic quirk that makes them tuskless. By killing elephants for their ivory, poachers make it more likely that tuskless elephants will mate and pass on the trait to the next generation. Ivory poaching has also skewed the sex ratio where females outnumber the males by four to one.  

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Copyright 2013, Institute of Critical Zoologists