Elephants: The Life of Last Proboscideans by Tharindu Muthukumarana

Elephants: The Life of Last Proboscideans by Tharindu Muthukumarana

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Proboscidea is a taxonomic order of mammals that includes the elephants and their extinct ancestors. Although only two species of elephant are extant today, more than 160 extinct proboscidean species have been identified from fossilized remains found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. The modern elephants are the "last survivors" of radiation that once was diverse and widely distributed.

 The book explains the life cycle of elephants in clear text and lavish illustrations. It is ready to take you on a journey from their evolution to modern-day threats and conservation. Throughout you will get to know that the elephants are beyond amazing animals by virtue of their size. They are also among the world's most intelligent species that have amazed scientists over the years, and still continue to do so. Elephants are exuberantly expressive creatures that display the finest emotions such as joy, love, anger, grief, compassion, empathy, anxiety, altruism, rudimentary, mimicry, etc. Their cognition is expressed in self-awareness, powerful memory, tool use ability, language or nonverbal communication, cooperation, etc. Elephants are the only mammals other than modern humans and Neanderthals are known to have or have had any recognizable ritual around death. The reader will also be invited in to explore their unique behaviour in the wild and their relationship with people.

 Proboscidea order is 60 million years old, extending from the Paleocene. But today species in this order face the greatest challenges to their survival, even in their own habitats. The major threats are human-elephant conflict and ivory poaching.