elephant

Tag archives for elephant

Super-sniffing elephants

Like Aesop’s fable, rats have another reason to be envious of elephants. Elephants also have significantly more genes that can detect different smells (i.e. olfactory receptor genes) than other super-sniffers like rats and dogs. In fact, compared to 13 other species, African elephants have 1,948 genes related to smell putting them ahead of the previous…

Research published last month in PNAS provides evidence that African elephants (Loxodonta africana) can differentiate human voices. This is a very important skill to an animal that is often threatened by humans. Prior research has shown that elephants could tell the difference between African ethnic groups using sight and scent. The study was conducted by…

Elephant “Hair Conditioning”

Researchers think that the hair on an elephant might actually function to keep the animals cool as opposed to keeping them warm as it does for other mammals. Living in hot climates (as high as 122 degrees F) since the last ice age means the animals have had to evolve ways to tolerate the heat.…