Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Dwarf elephant beats up big rival

The first recorded animal of its kind fights and beats a larger opponent

Talk about having a big personality.

Scientists have spotted and filmed a dwarf male Asian elephant wandering the forests of Sri Lanka.

The elephant has a normal-sized head and body, but very short and stubby legs.

Thought to be the first of his kind ever recorded, the elephant surprised the researchers further by engaging in his very own rumble in the jungle.

In a series of extraordinary encounters in the Uda Walawe National Park, the elephant, nicknamed the Walawe Dwarf by observers, waged an all-out battle against a full-sized male elephant.

What’s more, he appeared to be winning.

At the time, I didn't even notice it was a dwarf

Elephant researcher Shermin de Silva, Director of the Uda Walawe Elephant Research Project, and her colleagues, reported their encounters with the dwarf in the journal BMC Research Notes.

Barely two metres tall, the Walawe Dwarf, according to the researchers, is the first confirmed case of disproportionate dwarfism in a fully-grown Asian elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) in the wild. His condition is most likely caused by a genetic mutation resulting in disproportionately short limbs.

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