Contents

1 Moeritheres, Mastodonts, and Mammoths

Elephant Evolution in Action 3

1.1 Introduction 3

1.2 The Paleocene—Ancient Origins 9

1.3 The Eocene—Aquatic Existence 13

1.4 The Oligocene—Evolutionary Quiescence 15

1.5 The Miocene—Evolutionary Diversification 16

1.6 The Pliocene—Radiation of the Elephants 24

1.7 The Pleistocene—The Final Burst and Then Collapse 28

1.8 The Holocene—Calm after the Storm 44

1.9 Genetics, Phylogeny, and Population Differentiation in the Elephants 45

2 Elephants, Gods, and People

The Interrelationship of Culture and Ecology 55

2.1 Introduction 55

2.2 Historical Antecedents of the Elephant Culture in Asia 57

2.3 The Rise of Elephant Armies in Asia 59

2.4 The Rise of the Elephant-Headed God 64

2.5 Ecology, Politics, and Culture 70

2.6 From Ganesha to the Present 75

2.7 The Capture and Use of the African Elephant 81

3 Bulls, Musth, and Cows

The Elephantine Mating Game 89

3.1 Introduction 89

3.2 Estrus in the Female Elephant 91

3.3 Musth in the Male Elephant 100

3.4 Sexual Selection and Mate Choice 112

4 Mothers, Children, and Aunts

The Social Life of Elephant Families 125

4.1 Introduction 125

4.2 Behavioral Development and Social Interactions in Elephants 126

4.3 Communication in Elephants 137

4.4 Home Range of Elephants 158

4.5 Social Groups and Their Determinants 170

4.6 The Evolution of Elephant Society 185

5 Bamboos, Bark, and Bananas

The Diet of a Megaherbivore 191

5.1 Introduction 191

5.2 The Nature of the Elephant's Diet 192

5.3 Isotopic Tracking of the Elephant's Diet 201

5.4 Ecological Determinants of Diet in Elephants 206

5.5 Nutrition and the Condition of Elephant Populations 219

6 Forests, Fires, and Grasslands

The Impact of Elephants on Their Habitats 223

6.1 Introduction 223

6.2 The Nature of Vegetation Change in Elephant Habitats 224

6.3 Hypothesized Causes of Vegetation Change 232

6.4 Modeling the Elephant-Vegetation Dynamics 245

6.5 The Role of Elephants in the Ecosystem 252

7 Birth, Death, and Chance

The Dynamics of Elephant Populations 255

7.1 Introduction 255

7.2 Demographic Variables in Elephant Populations 257

7.3 Evolution of Life History Traits in Elephants 268

7.4 Modeling the Dynamics of Elephant Populations 271

7.5 Stochastic Models of Elephant Population Dynamics 281

7.6 Modeling the Dynamics of Exploited Populations 286

8 Coconuts, Corn, and Carvings

The Conflict between Elephants and People 298

8.1 Introduction 298

8.2 Crop Depredation by Elephants 299

8.3 Manslaughter by Elephants 322

8.4 Habitat Manipulation by People 326

8.5 Capture and Hunting of Elephants 331

9 Science, Politics, and Pragmatism

Conserving the Elephant Populations 352

9.1 Introduction 352

9.2 Minimum Viable Populations for Elephant Conservation 355

9.3 Managing Elephant-Human Conflicts 363

9.4 Management of Overabundant Populations 373

9.5 The Management of Small versus Large Populations 379

9.6 Controlling Poaching and the Illegal Trade in Ivory 383

9.7 Management of Elephants in Captivity 396

9.8 Concluding Remarks 401

Appendix 1: Status and Distribution of Elephants 403 Appendix 2: Statural Growth in Elephants 409 Notes 415 References 427 Index 455

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The Living Elephants

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