Forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) unlike their cousins to the east spend the majority of their time deep in the thick Central African rain forests. Once thought to be the same species, forest and savannah elephants have been distinguished as different species due to a host of morphological and genetic differences (Roca et al., 2001). This photo was taken when a group of elephants ventured out of the forest and awoke researchers at Ipassa Research Center near Makokou, Gabon.
[Photo and caption by Caitlin Hawley]
Roca, A.L, Georgiadis, N., Pecon-Slattery, J., & O’Brien, S.J. (2001). Genetic evidence for two species of elephant in Africa. Science, 293(5534): 1473-1477.