A baby wild elephant plays between two adults outside of Gauhati, India—the same city where, less than a month ago, a male elephant wandered the streets after being separated from his herd.
Millions of landmines remain strewn across Angola, remnants of the country’s long civil war. Remarkably, some elephants have learned to sniff out and avoid these hazards, and even alert an entire herd to the danger. Intrigued, the U.S. Army is now testing the ability of elephants to detect chemicals found in landmines…
Exhibition director Peter Luckner readies a 13-foot-tall model of a straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) for “Fossil Richness in the Geisel Valley,” on display in the Pfaennerhall Factory in Braunsbedra, central Germany. This type of forest elephant roamed the Geisel Valley some 200,000 years ago.
We tend to think of nature as being both brutal and patriarchal. Animals struggle to survive and mate, and we assume that means that males will dominate. But some non-human species actually have matriarchies, that work out pretty well. Here's what nature can teach us about the secrets of making matriarchy work.
Size matters: Elephants and whales are the only two animals that show up from space when tracked using "commercially available" resolutions. Satellite images have been used to prevent poaching, as well as to keep track of creatures that manage to be as elusive as they are enormous.
Archaeologists working in Israel have made an extraordinary discovery — the earliest instance of Lower Paleolithic-Acheulian stone bifaces and scrapers with the residue of elephant fat still on them. It's considered an archaeological first.
The costumes are coming off, the shackles are being unlocked, and the boxcars are opening. After more than 130 years, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus will retire its elephants. It's an important step — but animals need legal rights, and not just laws that treat them like things.
Believe it or not, this was a question that South African officials in the early 2000s had to answer. Young elephant males had formed groups that attacked and killed rhinos for recreation. How could they stop it?
Here's a horrifying fact. Trained elephants were once used to torture an execute people. Some of the earliest references come from the Bible. The latest came in the 1800s.
There aren't many predators that can kill a fully grown elephant, but a juvenile elephant is a different story. When they're young, lions can take down an elephant if they need to. And it isn't a pretty sight.
Violinist Eleanor Bartsch decided to take her warm-up yo the local zoo. And discovered that elephants cannot let music go by un-danced to.
We know that animals have found ways to get themselves drunk or high by eating certain plants or fermented fruit, but recently, scientists have started studying the self-medication of animals — a branch of science dubbed zoopharmacognosy. This is how we discovered elephants might have a way to bring on labor.
Jake Wall is a research scientist with Save the Elephants. As part of his work, he followed the travels of one particular male elephant called "Mountain Bull." But that research ended abruptly last month when Mountain Bull was slaughtered by poachers.
Last month, I wrote of an effort by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and others to urge the PBS series Antiques Roadshow to stop appraising ivory, given the devastating toll that poaching has on elephant populations. The WCS announced today that the show has agreed to their requests.…
I'll say it: I love Antiques Roadshow. The look on the faces of folks who find out on national television that their priceless antiques are really worthless hunks of junk is, well, priceless. There's just one problem: by appraising ivory the PBS show communicates the idea that elephants are worth more dead than alive.
The city of Los Angeles approved a ban on the use of bullhooks, bats, pitchforks and other physical tools used by trainers to control exotic circus animals such as elephants.
Without elephants, the ancient Library of Alexandria might not have existed. Every war has, as a byproduct, cultural and technological innovation: in our world, the US Civil War led to medical advancements and the Cold War put us in space. In the classical era, it was the race to build elephant armies that changed the…
Perhaps elephants are known for their memory because their very survival in our human-dominated world depends on it. This may be why elephants can recognize individual people by our voices.
Delia Akeley is probably best remembered as a "wife-of," having spent two decades married to famed taxidermist and conservationist Carl Akeley. But Delia was a fascinating adventurer in her own right, an early primatologist, anthropologist studying the pygmy peoples of Belgian Congo, and skilled museum-backed…