Tusks


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Definition of Tusks

From the elephant glossary Section: elephant anatomy


Famous tusker Plai Thongbai, with owner Lun Salangam, Ban Ta Klang, Surin, Thailand.
Famous tusker Plai Thongbai, with owner Lun Salangam, Ban Ta Klang, Surin, Thailand.



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Tusks are elephants incisive Teeth. There is a pulp inside, and thy have "open roots" why the tusks continue to grow throughout their lifetime, even if they get shortened.

About half the tusk is visible, the rest of the unexposed tusk goes inside the cranium, why poachers always kills the elephants so they can remove all the Ivory.

Asian female elephants may have Tushes, or no tusks at all.

Asian male elephants may also be Tuskless, or have smaller Tushes, in India they are referred to as Makhna, and in Thailand Sidor or Sedor.

Due to Poaching during the eighties in some areas in India like Periyar, there was an increasing number of Tuskless elephants.

Recently, the percentage of African elephants that do not develop tusks has been steadily increasing in many regions, suggesting that some varieties of the African elephant are losing the tusk as an evolutionary mechanism against Poaching. (Christina Larson)


Harvesting of wild populations can cause the evolution of morphological, behav-ioral, and life history traits that may compromise natural or sexual selection. Despite the vulnerability of large mammals to rapid population decline from harvesting, the evolutionary effects of harvesting on mega-fauna have received limited attention. In elephants, illegal Ivory harvesting disproportionately affects older age classes and males because they carry large tusks, but its' effects on tusk size for age or tusk size for stature are less understood. (Dave Kim)


Reference list Koehl, Dan, (2024). Tusks. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 September 2021 at https://www.elephant.se/index.php?id=41. (archived at the Wayback machine)


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