About the Author

Barry Bath


Barry grew up in Johannesburg and knew from a young age that he had a true love for the African bush yet it was only after spending several years in the corporate world in Europe, followed by a two year sabbatical of traveling ...

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on The Ever Evolving Evolution of the Elephant

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Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

This is a fantastic report on the evolution of elephants, but even more so, a terrific resource to print out to read and share with others. You’ve discovered so many interesting facts related to how their bodies function, none of which I knew anything about. Thank you for submitting this!

Dave Mills
Senior Digital Ranger

Great job, Barry. Thanks.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Terrific! Thanks Chris! There are many elephants born without tusks, especially in Asia, where they have been decimated for ivory for many years. While lionesses are developing thick manes in Botswana.. to be able to defend their pride from hyenas and foreign male lions,
All sorts of evolution, to be able to survive extinction of their dna, unfortunately also due to human cause.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Dear Barry, what a great article on elephants! Thanks a lot. This is so interesting.
Nature’s ways and evolution of the species are really fantastic. Elephants are such very special animals, regarding the functioning of their bodies, but also the social side of these wonderful animals, which makes it so pleasant to watch them.

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Fantastic biology lesson! You provided answers to questins I didn’t know I had. An interesting sidenote that both male and female African elephants have tusks whereas only the male Asian elephant has tusks.

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Barry, thank you for continuing my education about elephants. Fascinating creatures and truly majestic.

Laszlo Toth

Thank you Barry for this interesting and informative blog!
I understand the six sets of molars would also determine the lifespan of an elephant; they have 6 sets and each set lasts for about 10 years, so the elephant can live up to ~60 years, they don’t have any molars left to chew anymore so they die of starvation. Is that correct?
Another question: why do they only digest 40% of what they eat? It’s quite a waste! And as we know there is no waste in nature 🙂 Any evolutionary explanation for that?

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Barry a very interesting story indeed. The elephants evolution is superbly laid out. Never knew that the trunk had so many muscles. Their huge body needs a lot of cooling down that’s why the ears keep on flaping.

Kara Taylor
Master Tracker

Barry I learned a lot about Elephants from your post – thanks. I think their predecessor the Eritherium remind me of a Tapir – but I think no scientific relation.

Willa Stanger
Senior Digital Ranger

Quite an in-depth examination. And the photo of the elephant ear evokes a monster plant leaf.

Camille Koertner
Senior Digital Ranger

And I thought I knew a bit about Ellies….Thanks for sharing all this information–so informative and interesting!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Excellent lesson in elephants, Barry! Thanks!

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Utterly fascinating report Barry!

Linda Rawles
Digital Tracker

What a great piece. Sharing this one!

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10 April, 2798
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