Based on Real Data
Draw a Conclusion
Are African elephants separate species?
Efforts to count and protect elephant populations in Africa were based on the assumption that all African elephants belong to the same species. Evidence from a project originally designed to trace ivory samples changed that assumption.
A group of scientists studied the DNA variation among 195 African elephants from 21 populations in 11 of the 37 nations in which African elephants range and from seven Asian elephants. They used biopsy darts to obtain plugs of skin from the African elephants. The researchers focused on a total of 1732 nucleotides from four nuclear genes that are not subject to natural selection. The following paragraph shows the results of the samples.
Data and observation
“Phylogenetic distinctions between African forest elephant and savannah elephant population corresponded to 58% of the difference in the same genes between the elephant genera Loxodonta African) africanus and Elephas (Asian) maximus.” Loxodonta cyclotis (African) forest elephants, are smaller than savannah elephants with smaller ears and longer tusks.
Describe the type of evidence used in the study.
Explain the evidence that there are two species of elephants in Africa.
Propose other kinds of data that could be used to support three different scientific names for elephants.
Infer Currently Loxodonta Africana is protected from being hunted. How might reclassification affect the conservation of forest elephants