Asian elephant tusks

Asian elephant tusks

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Credit: PAT & TOM LEESON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tusks of an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Only the male Asian elephants have tusks. They are a pair of elongated incisor teeth, and lengths of over 2 metres have been recorded. Asian elephants are illegally hunted by humans for the ivory in their tusks, and they are now found only in parts of India and South-East Asia. Elephants use their tusks for many tasks, such as digging for water, marking trees, and for defence and mating fights. Asian elephants can be domesticated and trained to use their tusks when moving logs. The trunk (upper centre, coiled) is a sensitive and vital organ. It is often coiled to avoid injury, such as during battles.

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Keywords: anatomical, anatomy, animal, asia, asian, asiatic, elephant, elephas maximus, incisor, incisors, ivory, male, mammal, nature, teeth, tooth, tropical, trunk, tusk, tusker, tusks, wildlife, zoology

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