Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

SCIENCE / IN BRIEF | BIOLOGY

Study Suggests Third African Elephant Species

September 28, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Africa may harbor three species of elephant instead of just two, suggests a study based on DNA extracted from dung. If that is confirmed, it means that roughly 12,000 elephants living in western Africa are a distinct and endangered species, because of their small scattered populations, researcher Lori Eggert of the Smithsonian Institution said.

It will take more analysis to determine whether the western elephants really represent a third species, she added. "We need to err on the side of caution," she said, because of the implications for conservation. Her report was published online Sept. 12 by Proceedings B, a journal of the London-based Royal Society.

To get DNA for the new study, Eggert sampled dung from western elephants in Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Mali, as well as from elephants in Cameroon.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|