African Elephant Tusks
A lovely pair of perfectly preserved elephant tusks…always in high demand.
African elephants are elephants of the genus Loxodonta, from Greek λοξός (loxós ‘slanting, crosswise, oblique sided’) + ὀδούς (odoús, stem odónt-, ‘tooth’). The genus consists of two extant species: the African bush elephant, L. africana, and the smaller African forest elephant, L. cyclotis. Loxodonta is one of two existing genera of the family Elephantidae. Fossilremains of Loxodonta have been found only in Africa, in strata as old as the middle Pliocene. However, sequence analysis of DNA extracted from fossils of an extinct elephant species undermines the validity of the genus.
African elephant societies are arranged around family units. Each family unit is made up of around ten closely related females and their calves and is led by an older female known as the matriarch. When separate family units bond, they form kinship or bond groups. After puberty, male elephants tend to form close alliances with other males.
Elephants are at their most fertile between the ages of 25 and 45. Calves are born after a gestation period of up to nearly two years. The calves are cared for by their mother and other young females in the group, known as allomothers.