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    Unprecedented Elephant Dwarfism Observed in Sri Lanka

    Geo Beats

    by Geo Beats

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    Scientists have observed what they believe to be an unprecedented case of disproportionate dwarfism in an adult wild animal.

    Scientists have observed what they believe to be an unprecedented case of disproportionate dwarfism in an adult wild animal.

    Discovered living in Sri Lanka, the fully matured elephant they found had a stature of about half the other adults in the community.

    What makes the pachyderm unique is the type of abbreviated growth it displayed.

    Called disproportionate dwarfism, it involves only the shortening of the limbs, rather than an all-over scaling that equally affects all parts of the body.

    The growth pattern is found in humans and specifically bred types of domestic animals, such as dachshunds and basset hounds.

    It happens when genetic defects inhibit the standard growth of the cartilage or long bones in the limbs.

    This is the first time it’s been seen in an adult animal living in its natural habitat.

    Unfortunately, animals affected by the disproportionate variety do not have a history of longevity due to the limitations it imposes on their abilities to dodge predators.

    As elephants have no natural predators, this elephant seems to be doing just fine.

    In fact, when spotted, the smaller elephant appeared to be the aggressor in a confrontation it was having with a full-sized one.