One of the nearly extinct animals, elephant, has a long evolution process that makes it the nowadays elephant. You might be familiar with the ancient animal, mammoth, that resembles the current elephant. But, do you know that some scientists believe that elephants were actually a very tiny animal?
Ice Age Mammoth
Are you familiar with the ice age mammoth that appears on Ice Age movies? If you know this animal, you might see a slight resemblance of it in an elephant. Mammoth actually a lot bigger than the current elephant and it has lots of thick hair on its body. Since they live on the ice age, the hair helps them to get warmer. But, as the temperature gets hotter, their body adjusts to it by reducing the hair. Their skin becomes thicker and the ears get bigger. The ears here act as fans and help them to cool down during the hot weather. Their trunks also get stronger and it helps them to do different kinds of activities.
Tiny Pig-sized Animal
Although the popular evolution process of elephants comes from mammoth, other scientists believe that elephants are originally a small animal before they evolve into the current elephants. The animal is said to have the root from the ancient animal, the member of Proboscidea around 60 million years ago. The species mainly exhibit some areas in the world, except Australia and Antarctica. The animal evolves into three different species of elephants, the Asian elephants, the African Savanna elephants, and African Forest elephants. However, the scientists are still on the ongoing debate on the evolutionary process of elephants.
Why the Number of Elephants Decreases
The evolution process of the elephants actually plays a big role in the decreasing number of elephants. The evolution process actually takes a long period of time. Before elephants can evolve better, the natural conditions prevent them to multiply the number of species. Elephants become extinct faster and the condition becomes worse when they cannot survive on the environment they are in. The conditions worsen since they have a slow reproductive rate and when they need to compete with human, agen bola and global warming.
Though elephants are one of the giant animals, some scientists stated that, at first, they were a tiny animal like the current pig size. They undergo natural selection and evolve to be the current elephant. Despite the controversial point of view, the evolution process of elephants is still fascinating.