From: New York Times
How Teeth Became Tusks, and Tusks Became Liabilities
Humans, mice, narwhals — most mammals rely on ancient genes to produce teeth and tusks. But the tuskless elephants of Africa show that nature can quickly alter the code.
GORONGOSA NATIONAL PARK, Mozambique — We are flying in a Bat Hawk aircraft — which may be named for a raptor that preys on bats but looks more like a giant, lime-green dragonfly — and my hair, thanks to the open cockpit, has gone full Phyllis Diller.
Scudding above flood plains the color of worn pool table felt and mud flats split like jigsaw puzzles, we dip toward the treetops and see herds of waterbuck scatter with an impatient flash of their bull’s-eye rumps.