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 Post subject: michael kors handtaschen African Elephant Really T
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2014 10:31 am 
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African Elephant Really Two Wildly Different Species,michael kors handtaschen
The African elephant is actually two different species,michael kors outlet online, according to a new DNA study that may settle a long simmering debate.
According to the new research,michael kors jet set, the two major types of African elephants are about as genetically distinct from each other as the Asian elephant is from the extinct woolly mammoth.
And that difference has deep roots in the elephant family tree,michael kors uhren damen, the DNA evidence suggests.
The two apparent African elephant species appear to have evolved from a common ancestor between two and a half million and five million years ago nearly as long ago as the human and chimpanzee lineages diverged,michael kors taschen sale, according to some genetic studies.
For Species Designation,michael kors online, Size Doesn't Matter
Traditionally,michael kors taschen online kaufen, the forest and savanna elephants have been classified as subspecies of the same species. But numerous distinctions have been noted. For example,michael kors brillen, forest elephants live in family groups of just a few animals,michael kors uhren damen, whereas savanna elephant family groups number about ten and often congregate in groups of 70 or so.
And perhaps unsurprisingly,michael kors tasche, given its wide open habitat the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) has evolved to be about twice as big as the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis).
The savanna elephant tips the scales at up to seven tons and stands a full meter (3.3 feet) taller at the shoulder than the African forest elephant,michael kors, which lives in equatorial forests of central and western Africa.
But even plainly visible morphological,michael kors outlet, or physical,michael kors damenuhr, differences don't necessarily indicate that animals are of separate species.
"Animals have an amazing capacity to change in morphology over short periods of time,michael kors taschen online kaufen," said Reich,michael kors taschen outlet, a population geneticist at Harvard Medical School.
Without pressures from predators and competitors,michael kors jet set, for example,michael kors online, species isolated on islands can shrink in just tens of thousands of years a blink of the eye in evolutionary time.
Elephants have experienced such transitions before,michael kors taschen online kaufen, producing animals like the "pygmy" Asian elephant of Borneo,michael kors taschen hamilton, which isn't considered a separate species,michael kors stiefel, despite its relatively short, round shape.
(See pictures of Borneo pygmy elephants at risk due to deforestation,michael kors schuhe.)Debate over the species status of African elephants has been simmering for at least a decade,michael kors outlet online.
A 2001 study in the journal Science included the first DNA evidence that the savanna and forest elephants are separate species,michael kors stiefel.
But then other studies showed that at least a small number of savanna elephants shared mitochondrial DNA genetic information passed down from only mothers with forest elephants,michael kors clutch.
This "proved there was some interbreeding within at least the past 500,michael kors uhr rosegold,000 years,michael kors taschen hamilton," Reich explained.
But that limited interbreeding isn't evidence that the two elephant types are from the same species, he said. The mastodon's nuclear genome,michael kors tasche, in particular, was sequenced for the first time for the study.
(Related: "Mammoths to Return,michael kors uhr rosegold? DNA Advances Spur Resurrection Debate,michael kors sonnenbrillen.")
The genomes of five distinct animals the Asian elephant,michael kors sale, African savanna elephant, African forest elephant, woolly mammoth, and American mastodon were then compared and contrasted.
The results showed that "in fact these [African elephant] populations diverged long ago and are at least as different as Asian elephants and mammoths and those two are not only different species but entirely different genera," Reich said.
The apparent new species discovery is more than just cocktail party fodder for geneticists it may have important conservation and management implications.
If Africa's elephants are from two distinct species, then each has a smaller population than previously believed. In this case, forest elephants may be of particular concern, because far less is known about their population status. Their numbers may prove small enough to garner additional protections.

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