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The Borneo pygmy elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis)

So-called Pygmy Elephants are reported to be living in both Africa and Asia. The African Pygmy Elephant, formerly described as "Loxodonta pumilio", is currently considered to be a tiny morph of the African Forest Elephants (L. cyclotis); see Debruyne et al. (2003).

The Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) is a well-documented variety of elephants, is also called "Pygmy Elephant." This elephant, inhabiting tropical rainforest in north Borneo (east Sabah and extreme north Kalimantan), was long thought to be identical to the Asian Elephant and descended from a captive population. In 2003, DNA comparison revealed them to be probably a new subspecies.[1][2] In August 2007 it was reported that there are probably not more than 1,000 pygmy elephants left in Sabah, after a two year study by the World Wildlife Fund.[3]

The term Pygmy Elephant should not be confused with "dwarf elephant" which is used for a number of extinct species of elephants that evolved their size due to island dwarfing.

Pygmy elephants of India

Claims have been made from the Western Ghats of (Kerala, India) about a dwarf species of elephant called "Kallana". A team of elephant experts could find no proof of their existence.[4]

References

  1. ^ Fernando P, Vidya TNC, Payne J, Stuewe M, Davison G, et al. (2003) DNA Analysis Indicates That Asian Elephants Are Native to Borneo and Are Therefore a High Priority for Conservation. PLoS Biol 1(1): e6 Full text
  2. ^ CBS News. July 1, 2005. Spying on the Pygmy Elephant
  3. ^ Fewer pygmy jumbos now. Ruben Sario, The Star, Aug 10, 2007. [1]
  4. ^ Indian Express March 11, 2005
  • Groves, P. & Grubb, P. 2000. Are there Pygmy Elephants? Elephant 2(4):8-10. [2]
  • Debruyne, R., Holt, A. van, Barriel, V. & Tassy, P. 2003. Status of the so-called African pygmy elephant (Loxodonta pumilio (NOACK 1906)): phylogeny of cytochrome b and mitochondrial control region sequences. Comptes Rendus de Biologie 326(7):687-697. [3]

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