Elephant ears.

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Jan Ardena, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Is it purely a coincindence that the African and Indian elephants have ears shaped like their homelands?

  2. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ...

    Mmm ... elephant ear. Oh. Whoops.


    I was really hoping, though, that this was going to be a discussion of pie crust and cinnamon.
  3. chimpkin C'mon, get happy!

    I thought we were going to be talking about taro plants, usually called "elephant ears," in the southern U.S.

    Edible when cooked, root and leaf.
  4. Enmos Moderator

    Yes, of course. What are you thinking?

    Edit: Besides.. I don't see it.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  5. ScaryMonster I’m the whispered word.

    Some people believe in animism, that things and animals carry the spirit of other things.

    For example:




    I had a look at Indian and African elephants and I really couldn't say if they looked much like either continent. But being Australian I'd say that both sets of ears look like Tasmania:

  6. Enmos Moderator

  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always.

    When they shit it looks like Pangaea!


  8. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Sorry man!
    You're way off.
    That's more like Australia. :p

  9. Jan Ardena Valued Senior Member

    Seriously though, nobody find it strange that their main difference are their
    ears, and they look like their respective homelands?
    Even the size seems relative.

  10. Rav

    It seems that the Indian Elephants (yes, the Elephas maximus indicus subspecies of the Asian Elephant in particular) are native to Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malay Peninsular, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and China as well as India.

    They also evolved well before the Indian border had been established (obviously).
  11. ScaryMonster I’m the whispered word.

    Sorry if this is getting off the topic but:

    It got me wondering if hybridisation between African and Asian Elephant species was possible? Apparently it is.


    In 1978 at Chester Zoo, an Asian elephant cow gave birth to a hybrid calf sired by an African elephant bull
    "Motty", the resulting hybrid male calf, had an African elephant’s cheeks, their ears (large with pointed lobes) and legs (longer and slimmer), but the toenail numbers each front foot, 4 hind) and the single trunk finger of an Asian elephant.

    His wrinkled trunk was like that of an African elephant. His forehead was sloping with one dome and two smaller domes behind it. The body was African in type, but had an Asian-type centre hump and an African-type rear hump. The calf died of infection 12 days later. It is preserved as a mounted specimen at the British Natural History Museum in London.

    There are unconfirmed rumours of three other hybrid elephants born in zoos or circuses; all are said to have been deformed and none survived.

    Since both elephant species have the same number of chromosomes, one of the major barriers to hybrid fertility does not exist. If an hybrid succeeds in becoming an adult, it is potentially fertile.

    But I can't imagine why a hybrid of these elephants would be deformed? I would imagine that the mixing of such diverse gene pools would created a vigorous animal.
  12. Enmos Moderator

    Where did you get this information?
    I'd say it is impossible for such offspring to be fertile as the parents aren't even in the same genus.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  13. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater


    Scary Monster's little in-joke to himself is a reference to The Map of Tassie (Tasmania) being well known Aussie metaphor for a muff (that's the female pubic region you gormless wonders).

    I did however meet a woman whose ample bush was more like a map of India than Tassie.

    I worked my way through the whole dark continent from Srinigar to Bangalore.
    My she was a Goa.

    They say as a traveller that Africa is the final frontier.
    I await with bated breath.
  14. chimpkin C'mon, get happy!

    Ah, Spud, I always figured you for a master debater.
  15. ScaryMonster I’m the whispered word.

    Same number of chromosomes bud, I'm not a biologist but I think that's the criteria of possibly being fertile. They are both Elephantidae. although one is genus Loxodonta (African elephant) and the other genus (Elephas).

    I'm not sure but is it like saying one is a Homo sapien and one is a Neanderthal?
    Coincidentally Neanderthal genes have been found in Homo sapiens.
  16. Enmos Moderator

    I always learned that species have to at least be in the same genus in order to produce fertile offspring. And even if they are in the same genus, it doesn't always mean that they will be able to produce fertile offspring. Perhaps there are exceptions though.
    Your comparison with the case of modern humans and Neanderthals doesn't go though. Neanderthals and modern humans are in the same genus (Homo).
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  17. Fraggle Rocker Moderator

    Since the animals have existed for seven million years, the Indians must have deliberately shaped their country to resemble the animal's ear.

    Maybe that's why they let Pakistan become a separate country.
  18. ScaryMonster I’m the whispered word.

    I don't know? From what I've read they've said that an African and Asian elephant hybrid should be fertile and the number of chromosomes was cited as the reason.
    And given that premise you could theoretically breed and elephant with a wooly mammoth if any were still around.

    But I have to wonder why in the cases of circus elephants interbreeding only deformed short lived hybrids were produced? (but these circus cases were unconfirmed of course)

    I thought there was such a thing as hybrid vigor and that breeding diverse populations strengthened the individual animal. It might not be fertile but it shouldn't be deformed necessarily.
  19. Fraggle Rocker Moderator

    Since the advent of fast cheap DNA analysis, they've been revising the taxonomy of practically every species on earth.

    When I had my first biology class in 1957 the rule was that if two organisms (we only had Plants and Animals in those days, nobody knew that Fungi, Algae and Bacteria were separate kingdoms, and nobody had ever heard of Archaea) could interbreed and produce offspring, then they belonged to the same genus.

    Now we routinely crossbreed animals that have been assigned to two different genera, e.g. the ocicat and the Collson macaw (blue & gold x hyacinthine). Ocicats are not only fertile, but they have been bred back to cats to make the second-generation offspring a little more civilized but still tough enough to fend off most urban predators.

    It takes macaws several years to reach sexual maturity so I don't know if the Collson is fertile. I get the impression that this was not a popular hybrid--kinda dorky looking when exotic coloration is what macaw breeders want--so there haven't been very many of them.

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