Monday, January 3, 2011

And Then There Were Three

If it proves out, this new line of research indicating that African elephants are actually two distinct species -- one of the Savannah, and another of the forest -- then it goes a long way toward explaining why male African elephants are so notoriously unmanageable: people have spent the last few million years not bothering to draw the distinction between them, so to their enormous ears it must sound the same as referring to a group of human men as "chimps", "gorillas," "monkeys," "apes," or "troglodytes." The testosterone-addled mind of any reasonably intelligent male creature is not going to take this calmly.

For purposes of this blog post, I speak for the entire human species in apologizing to the African elephants of the world, past and present. Now we see. Would you stop the rampaging now? Some of us desperately want to miniaturize you and keep you as pets, and there's no way to do that if you're going to wreck the place.

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