The Genetics of Tusklessness in Elephants
This video follows scientists working in Gorongosa National Park as they try to determine the genes responsible for tusk development in elephants.
Normally, more than 90% of female African elephants have tusks. But in Gorongosa National Park, which has a history of heavy poaching, over 50% of the elephants are tuskless. To study this striking phenomenon, scientists are trying to determine the genes involved in tusk development and how variations in these genes can lead to tusklessness. In this video, biologist Shane Campbell-Staton walks through the steps of collecting DNA samples from elephants in Gorongosa and how he plans to analyze their DNA sequences.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
Africa, DNA sequence, genome, Gorongosa, microevolution, natural selection, poaching, teeth, tusks
HS-LS3.B, HS-LS4.B, HS-LS4.C
EVO-1.E, EVO-1.F, EVO-3.A
Topic(s): 2.1, 2.6, 9.10