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Weighing up the secrets of African elephant body fat
Date:7/3/2014

the African elephant, highlighting the crucial genes and nutrients present during different times of life particularly reproduction and lactation."

Since the discovery of Leptin, adipose tissue has been shown to play a key role in reproduction, energy sensing and regulation, and inflammatory responses. It has been linked with reproductive activity both in terms of the onset of puberty and in maintenance of reproductive function so it may play an important role in building up and maintaining the elephant's reserves to ensure health and fertility.

This work forms an important first step to help maintain a healthy, reproductively viable captive population. This would also eliminate the need to catch additional animals from the wild to supplement the captive population.

Dr Yon said: "The information we gained can help us to know how to better provide for elephants' dietary needs, and what possible impact this may have on their reproductive success. These same methods can be applied to further our understanding on a range of domestic or non-domestic species."

Elephant samples were obtained from management-organized culling operations in Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) in Zimbabwe during 2009�. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (PWMA) gave permits to SVC to cull the animals and SVC gave the authors permission to use the samples. No animals were killed specifically for this study, and all permission was obtained from the relevant authorities.


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Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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