Elephants

Innovators may want to create soft robots that more accurately replicate the dynamics of an elephant’s trunk.

Seven Scientific Discoveries From 2022 That May Lead to New Inventions

Nature is a breeding ground for innovative solutions to everything from aging to plastic pollution

Humans have come up with a number of wacky methods to keep animals deemed "vermin" in check.

Seven of the Wildest and Weirdest Attempts to Curb Animal Pests

Why use fences or traps, when you can use deadly viruses or lustful snakes?

African savanna elephants have about 63,000 neurons in the part of their brain that controls facial movement. Humans only have about 8,000 to 9,000.

What an Elephant’s Brain Reveals About Its Trunk

Elephants have tens of thousands of facial neurons, more than any other land mammal

ElSa is a prototype of a machine-learning-driven software that analyzes movement patterns in videos of humans and elephants.

Good News

This Teenager Invented a Low-Cost Tool to Spot Elephant Poachers in Real Time

Seventeen-year-old Anika Puri created a machine-learning-driven model that analyzes the movement patterns of humans and elephants

Malaysian customs officials seized thousands of pounds of elephant tusks, pangolin scales, rhino horns and other animal parts in July.

Malaysia Authorities Seize Elephant Tusks, Rhino Horns Worth $18 Million

Criminals had hidden the contraband animal parts in a container full of sawn timber

Elephant trunks are strong and precise.

Skin Helps Explain Why Elephant Trunks Are So Handy

Researchers discovered that the skin on the top of the trunk is more pliable and can stretch farther than the bottom

Asian elephants

Scientists Are Using YouTube to Understand How Elephants Mourn Their Dead

The research is part of a growing trend of using crowdsourced videos to learn about elusive or hard-to-study animals

Tiger tamer Alexander Lacey gets his tigers on their feet in one of the final performances of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

The 'Greatest Show on Earth' Is Coming Back—Without Circus Animals

After seemingly closing for good five years ago, Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will launch a new, more modern show in 2023

Africa was home to an estimated 5 million elephants a century ago, but today there are just 415,000 individuals left.

Elephant Tusk DNA Exposes Illegal Poaching Networks

The new study suggests a shift in major smuggling routes

Poaching was amplified during Mozambique’s civil war between 1977 to 1992 to finance the war efforts. Elephant population numbers dropped from 2,500 individuals to around 200 in the early 2000s.
 

Evotourism ®

Female Elephants Are Evolving Without Tusks in Mozambique

The genetic mutation causing tusklessness in females seems to be lethal in males

Scientists first spotted the tracks, including this one from a calf, after storms in 2020 swept away several feet of sand in Spain.

Fossilized Footprints Reveal an Ancient Elephant Nursery in Spain

Straight-tusked elephants as young as two months old trampled around the area with their mothers

A mammoth replica on display at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, Canada.

These Scientists Plan to Fully Resurrect a Woolly Mammoth Within the Decade

A company has raised $15 million to bring the species back from extinction using gene editing technology

Rembrandt created this sketch of Hansken, an Asian elephant brought to Europe from Sri Lanka, in 1637.

The Tragic Life of Hansken, 'Rembrandt's Elephant'

A new show at the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam explores the story of an animal who fascinated the Dutch artist

After analyzing the mitochondrial genome, the team discovered that the island-dwelling elephant is the descendant of straight-tusked elephants and was possibly isolated on Sicily between 50,000 and 175,500 years ago.

Ancient Elephants the Size of Shetland Ponies Once Roamed Sicily

The animals' size reduction is comparable to if humans were to shrink down to the size of a rhesus monkey

An aerial photo taken on June 5, 2021 shows the herd of Asian elephants in the Jinning District of Kunming, a populous city located in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

A Herd of 15 Elephants Is Wandering North Across China—and Nobody Knows Why

Experts are unsure why the group began its journey, which now spans more than 300 miles, or where it will end

An African elephant gives itself a dust bath by blasting dirt from its trunk.

New Research

Elephant Trunks Can Suck Water at 330 Miles Per Hour

A new study puts impressive numbers to some of the elephant trunk's many feats

Cher stands with Kaavan, the elephant she helped rescue.

How Cher Helped Rescue the World's Loneliest Elephant

A new documentary follows the five year struggle to save an elephant named Kaavan from abuse—and seeks to inspire similar efforts around the world

The team's findings reflect the toll of the ivory trade and habitat destruction.

Ivory From 16th-Century Shipwreck Yields Clues to African Elephants' Decline

Researchers extracted DNA from tusks found in the wreckage of the "Bom Jesus," a treasure-laden vessel that sank in 1533

An African forest elephant makes its way out into the open.

How Humans Benefit From a Highway of Trails Created by African Forest Elephants

The paths the pachyderms make aid plants, other animals, and local people—whose way of life is threatened by the species’ decline

Elephants Kelly Ann and Mable are eligible to move to the White Oak Conservation Center north of Jacksonville, Florida.

Retired Circus Elephants to Move to 2,500-Acre Wildlife Refuge Next Year

Since 2016, about 30 elephants have lived in a 200-acre enclosure managed by Ringling Bros. circus

loading icon