Behind the Paper: Finding Friendships in Secretive Elephants

Despite being the largest land animals, two species of wild elephant still have many mysteries. Even today, where you can connect with people across the world in seconds, where we have Google images of every corner of the planet, there are still unexplored mysteries. One of these mysterious species is the African forest elephant, recently declared a separate species in 2010…

Misidentified Spots: You’re Really Wearing Jaguar Print

Previous fashion files talked feline prints leopard and cheetah, both commonly heard and used in fashion chat. But what about jaguar print? This phrase doesn’t quite roll of the tongue, but actually a lot (maybe even most) of the prints we wear give leopards credit, but are really inspired by jaguars…

The ABC’s of Elephant DNA

Forest elephants defecate roughly 17-20 times a day, making it an accessible source of information. Traditionally, dung has been used to study diet. Forest elephants consume hundreds of species of plants, either as fruits, bark, or leaves, and sorting through dung piles gives scientists’ detailed information on what they are eating. More recently, scientists have used dung to obtain DNA. But how do scientists get DNA from dung?

Forest elephant in Gabon

Elephants of Central Africa: Giants in the Dark

Nighttime in a Central African forest reveals a suite of completely new, mostly acoustic, experiences from the day. Sleep is often interrupted by the clamoring within chimpanzee groups and the screams of a tiny primate, the bush baby (which gets its name from sounding like a baby crying), all above the drone of the regular nocturnal insects and frogs. But nothing is more remarkable than the forest elephant because night allows one the rare opportunity to experience them closely…