A University of Idaho associate professor and his colleagues are investigating why female elephants in a region of Africa are quickly evolving without tusks.
BOISE, Idaho — A University of Idaho professor is part of a team that is studying the tuskless elephant phenomenon in a region of Africa.
Dr. Ryan Long is an associate professor of Wildlife Sciences. He and his colleagues at Princeton University, Elephant Voices and Gorongosa National Park just published a paper in "Science" on what their research has found.
The researchers discovered the female elephants are quickly evolving without tusks partly because of black market poaching during the civil war in Mozambique that lasted from 1977 to 1992. Over that span, the population fell from 2,500 to about 200. Long said it has now recovered to about 800 elephants.
The team also found genetic evidence of the impact this tuskless trait is having on the …