The endangered Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis (GPH) is the largest (length: 120 cm; mass: 3 kg) of the nine species of hornbills (Bucerotidae) in India (Ali and Ripley 1987). Its diet is principally fruits, with a preponderance of figs (Ficus) (Kannan 1994; Kannan and James 1997, 1999).
In reviewing the taxonomy, distribution, and host relationships of the elephant louse, Haematomyzus elepahntis Piaget, 1869, Ferris (1931) stated, "Apparently all the specimens thus far taken of this species have been from animals in captivity. It is evidently normal to the Indian elephant, and whether the original record from African elephant, and above all, that from rhinoceros, indicate anything more than purely chance occurrences in zoological gardens remains to be determined."
Elephants peel off the bark of trees for various purposes. Guy (1967) and Olivier (1978) related debarking to extract water and minerals. Sukumar (1989) observed considerable consumption of bark during the dry season, contrary to the observations of Laws et al. (1975). Sivaganesan (1988) pointed out increased mineral content as a possible reason for debarking whereas Croze (1974) observed calcium content in bark as the main reason. However Anderson and Walker (1974) found no relationship between degree of debarking and mineral content of plants.
It is generally thought that elephants have occurred in Palamau forests from time immemorial. However, D. G. Sunder's survey settlement report of the district of Palamau (1896), though it records even the smallest member of the wildlife, does not include elephants and apparently there were none. Elephants migrated to this area sometime in early 1920. Why and where they came from is being investigated. At the time of this report (1970) the number of elephants in Palamau does not exceed sixty.
GOING TO AFRICA is like going home. At least, to a California horticulturalist, this is true. For the eastern and southern areas of this sun-drenched, grassy continent are overgrown with all our garden plants. But these plants are growing wild for them. One feels as if the natives had stolen them from our gardens, planted them around their huts, and that the plants had reseeded themselves into the jungles. But botanists say it is the other way around! We stole from them.