Monday, November 21, 2016

#ElephantTuesdays: Male or female? 🐘

The sexual dimorphism is a condition that some species have when the two sexes show different characteristics. In some animal species, these differences can be very obvious (for example in Mandrills), being manifested by color, size, presence of certain features like breasts, etc.

In the case of African elephants, however, the sexual dimorphism is unfortunately not so clear. Even sometimes for the most trained eyes it can be tough to tell the gender. Even the genitals can be misleading as both penis and vulva hang ventrally. Besides, the male´s testes are located in the abdominal cavity, which makes the assumption even harder.

There are cases when the sex is more than evident: 

but If you don´t get to see an elephant erect, here are some very general tips that will help tell an African elephant´s gender apart.

Overall body shape: Males are more robust and in general bigger than females.

Head: an adult male´s head (forehead) is usually wider than an adult female´s.

Trunk: an adult male´s trunk is pretty thicker/wider than a female´s, especially the base of the trunk.

Tusks: usually longer and thicker in males than in females; a broken tusk might be as well the result of a fight between males.

Breasts: adult females have two breasts between their forelegs: 

As a curiosity: again Can, our African forest elephant in the Abidjan zoo, was thought to be a male for 20 years!!, until we saw her urinating; when males urinate, the penis comes out and then you have a good chance to claim the sex; 

Can urinating:

male urinating: 

 Original video: ACP000ciji


No comments:

Post a Comment