Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-m8s7h Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-21T17:55:29.780Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Measures of dung bolus size for known-age African elephants (Loxodonta africana): implications for age estimation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2005

Thomas A. Morrison
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, Duke University, P.O Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708, U.S.A.
Patrick I. Chiyo
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, Duke University, P.O Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708, U.S.A.
Cynthia J. Moss
Affiliation:
Amboseli Elephant Research Project, P.O. Box 15135, Nairobi, Kenya
Susan C. Alberts
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, Duke University, P.O Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708, U.S.A.
Get access

Abstract

The availability of a population of mostly known-age African elephants Loxodonta africana from Amboseli National Park, Kenya, provided a unique opportunity to assess the use of dung bolus diameter for estimating age. A predictive equation for estimating dung bolus diameters from elephants of known age was derived and was found to follow the typical growth pattern exhibited by changes in shoulder height and foot length. The relationship between measurements of dung bolus and age was particularly strong when growth rates were high (age 0–25 years). The dung bolus growth curve from Amboseli elephants was similar to that derived from another wild population of African elephants, suggesting that dung bolus diameter can be used to assess age structure in areas where it is impossible to construct independent prediction curves of age and dung bolus.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
2005 The Zoological Society of London

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)