oa African Zoology - Morphometry of elephant tusks

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



Operators of hunting safaries in Botswana have long noted that tusks of trophy animals shot by their clients usually exceed expectations based on estimates made from observations of the live elephant. Their previous experience in East Africa makes them underestimate the weight of ivory carried by the Botswana animals. This suggested that significant morphological differences might be present in various elephant populations which might prove to be genetic markers by which the distribution and movements of herds to and from a large geographic area might be detected. Such markers would permit estimation of the degree of interchange between contiguous populations as in Rhodesia and Botswana or between a game reserve and adjacent hunting areas.

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