1 Tahrcountry Musings: Now a third species of elephants

Friday, October 14, 2005

Now a third species of elephants

Genetic fingerprinting shows that Africa's forest and savanna elephants are two genetically distinct species.Till now elephants have been divided into two species—Asian and African.The DNA evidence, reported in the journal Science, provides a definitive answer to the long-debated controversy. The differences between the two have long been noted, says F.V. "Loki" Osborn, an elephant researcher based in Zimbabwe. Using the old classification yardsticks, the forest elephant was merely a subspecies of the savanna elephant. The study was funded by the National Geographic Society, European Union, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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