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You are here: Home / Publications / Bibliographies and Resource Guides / Information Resources on Elephants   / African Elephants - Anatomy / Histology / Physiology  Printer Friendly Page
Information Resources on Elephants
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African Elephants

Anatomy / Histology / Physiology

Clauss, M., H. Steinmetz, U. Eulenberger, P. Ossent, R. Zingg, J. Hummel, and J.M. Hatt (2007). Observations on the length of the intestinal tract of African Loxodonta africana (Blumenbach 1797) and Asian elephants Elephas maximus (Linne 1735). European Journal of Wildlife Research 53(1): 68-72. ISSN: 1612-4642; (E) 1439-0574.
Descriptors: African elephant, Loxodonta africana, Asian elephant, Elephas maximus, intestinal tract length, digestive system, species differences, comparative study.

Hoffmann, J.N., A.G. Montag, and N.J. Dominy (2004). Meissner corpuscles and somatosensory acuity: the prehensile appendages of primates and elephants. Anatomical Record. Part A, Discoveries in Molecular, Cellular, and Evolutionary Biology 281(1): 1138-47.
NAL Call Number: QL801.A53
Descriptors: adaptation, physiological physiology, elephant anatomy and histology, mechanoreceptors physiology, primate anatomy and histology, skin innervation, touch physiology, elephant physiology, evolution, feeding behavior physiology, hand innervation, hand physiology, hand strength physiology, motor skills physiology, phylogeny, primate physiology, sensory thresholds physiology, species specificity.

Hutchinson, J.R., D. Famini, R. Lair, and R. Kram (2003). Biomechanics: Are fast-moving elephants really running? Nature 422(6931): 493-494.
NAL Call Number: 472 N21
Descriptors: elephant physiology, gait physiology, running physiology, walking physiology, biomechanics, kinetics, Thailand, time factors, video recording.

Manger, P.R., P. Pillay, B.C. Maseko, A. Bhagwandin, N. Gravett, D.J. Moon, N. Jillani, and J. Hemingway (2009). Acquisition of brains from the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) perfusion fixation and dissection. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 179(1): 16-21. ISSN: 0165-0270.
Descriptors: African elephant, Loxodonta africana, brains, nervous system, neural coordination, laboratory techniques, dissection, perfusion fixation.

Ren, L. and J. Hutchinson (2007). Three dimensional locomotor dynamics of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A Molecular and Integrative Physiology 146(4, Suppl. S): S110-S111. ISSN: 1095-6433.
Descriptors: African elephant, Loxodonta africana, Asian elephant, Elephas maximus, movement and support, footfall pattern, trunk rotation, locomotor dynamics, hindlimb stance, comparative study.

Ren, L., J. Hutchinson, D. Schwerda, and M. Fischer (2006). Basic limb kinematics of the locomotion in African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A Molecular and Integrative Physiology 143(4, Suppl. S): S89. ISSN: 1095-6433.
Descriptors: African elephant, Loxodonta africana, movement and support, limb kinematics, animal size, elephant locomotion, walking change, flexion extension angle, meeting abstract.

Sacks, O. (2003). Early work on elephant gait not to be forgotten. Nature 423(6937): 221.
NAL Call Number: 472 N21
Descriptors: physiology, gait physiology, photography history, biomechanics, 19th century history.

Weissengruber, G.E., F.K. Fuss, G. Egger, G. Stanek, K.M. Hittmair, and G. Forstenpointner (2006). The elephant knee joint: morphological and biomechanical considerations. Journal of Anatomy 208(1): 59-72.
NAL Call Number: 447.8 J826
Abstract: Elephant limbs display unique morphological features which are related mainly to supporting the enormous body weight of the animal. In elephants, the knee joint plays important roles in weight bearing and locomotion, but anatomical data are sparse and lacking in functional analyses. In addition, the knee joint is affected frequently by arthrosis. Here we examined structures of the knee joint by means of standard anatomical techniques in eight African (Loxodonta africana) and three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Furthermore, we performed radiography in five African and two Asian elephants and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in one African elephant. Macerated bones of 11 individuals (four African, seven Asian elephants) were measured with a pair of callipers to give standardized measurements of the articular parts. In one Asian and three African elephants, kinematic and functional analyses were carried out using a digitizer and according to the helical axis concept. Some peculiarities of healthy and arthrotic knee joints of elephants were compared with human knees. In contrast to those of other quadruped mammals, the knee joint of elephants displays an extended resting position. The femorotibial joint of elephants shows a high grade of congruency and the menisci are extremely narrow and thin. The four-bar mechanism of the cruciate ligaments exists also in the elephant. The main motion of the knee joint is extension-flexion with a range of motion of 142 degrees . In elephants, arthrotic alterations of the knee joint can lead to injury or loss of the cranial (anterior) cruciate ligament.
Descriptors: knee joint, anatomy, morphological, biomechanical, weight bearing, locomotion, radiography, MRI, magnetic resonance imaging, arthrosis.

West, J.B., Z. Fu, A.P. Gaeth, and R.V. Short (2003). Fetal lung development in the elephant reflects the adaptations required for snorkeling in adult life. Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology 138(2-3): 325-33.
NAL Call Number: QP121.A1R4
Abstract: The adult elephant is unique among mammals in that the pleural membranes are thickened and the pleural cavity is obliterated by connective tissue. It has been suggested that this peculiar anatomy developed because the animal can snorkel at depth, and this behavior subjects the microvessels in the parietal pleura to a very large transmural pressure. To investigate the development of the parietal pleura, the thickness of the endothoracic fascia (ET) was measured in four fetal African elephants of approximate gestational age 111-130 days, and the appearances were compared with those in human, rabbit, rat and mouse fetuses of approximately the same stage of lung organogenesis. The mean thicknesses of ET in the elephant, human, rabbit, rat and mouse were 403, 53, 29, 27 and 37 microm, respectively. This very early development of a thick parietal pleura in the elephant fetus is consistent with the hypothesis of a long history of snorkeling in the elephant's putative aquatic ancestors.
Descriptors: adaptation, biological physiology, embryonic and fetal development, lung embryology, pleura embryology, fetus, gestational age, intercostal muscles, lung anatomy and histology, mice, pleura anatomy and histology, rabbits, rats, species specificity.



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