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North African Elephant

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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: North African Elephant
    Posted: 12 Jul 2011 at 11:08
Why and when did the Elephant (presumably an Indian elephant not an African) go extinct in North Africa?
 
I'm guessing during Roman times, and because of aridification, however if this was during the Roman Empire is it documented? When do roman records about elephants cease?
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drgonzaga View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jul 2011 at 17:09
Excuse me, Omar but with respect to the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), the species were never "native" to North Africa. The fact that this species can pass some considerable time without water made their trans-saharan transport possible particularly through Mauritania (where the species did not go extinct until the 1980s--extinction in the Gambia took place in 1913). Here, I am presupposing that by "North Africa" you are referencing the Maghreb and Lower Egypt.
 
 
I surmise that that you are premising your question on the basis of the Wikipedia article:
 
 
The foisting around of the classification Loxodonta africana pharaoensis with respect to Ancient Rome and Carthage is scientifically questionable and frankly taxonomist abhorr the term. We can "extend" Polybius as a source but then the problematic would surge forth with respect to the Ptolemies and the elephants of Upper Egypt (and Ethiopea) and that danged Ptolemaic inscription (the Adoulis) claiming two "types" of elephants: Ethiopean and Troglodytic (those of the "cave dwellers"--which is now embellished to mean "Lybian"). The soundest possible conclusion with respect to North Africa would be that these animals were introduced into that ecology by human effort, period!
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Zagros View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 09:25
Actually this was a different subspecies of elephant, different to what we call Indian and African today, most notably in size.  They were smaller.
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Omar al Hashim View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 09:56
Yeah, I was going to say DrG, the species of elephant in Cathage obviously wasn't the African Elephant, as that is not domesticable. Also I seriously doubt that you could cross the Sahara with any elephant. They do require rather a lot of water.
 
Although it was only in the 5th century BC I believe that horse crossings of the Sahara became impossible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 2011 at 15:56
One may wax prolific over size but the fact remains that in terms of taxonomy and existing speciation Loxodonta africana comes in all sizes! Further, while African elephants may intake a lot of water in "one sitting" the fact remains that statistics for contemporary captive animals are irrelevant. Anyone who has witnessed the Serengeti migrations would comprehend that fine point. To "invent" a species so as to conform vague historical narratives is essentially untenable given the contemporary existence of Loxodonta Africana cyclotis. Besides, Omar, when you state the "African elephant" is not domesticable what then are you doing to Ethiopea and the Upper Nile Valley, shifting that region to Asia? Strangely enough there is a single Carthagian coin from the 3rd century BC that portrays an elephant and this pictoral representation can not be confused for anything but a specimen of Loxodonta Africana cyclotis--the African forest elephant. Its range through the Atlas Mountains southward into the Gambia and Mauretania is hardly problematic.
Here is a blast from the past that Wiki ignored but which contemporary research on cyclotis is emphasizing as prescient:
 
 
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akshara24 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote akshara24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Dec 2011 at 11:18
Elephants eat an average of 16 hours a day. Elephants use their trunk to reach up into trees to get food and pluck grass. Because they are such large animals and are herbivores who only eat grass, leaves, other vegetation that is available, African Elephants eat a high quantity of food, more than 700 pounds a day! They have to eat so much because over half of all they consume is passed through their systems undigested.
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