Sixteen African elephants (Loxodonta africana) were immobilized with single i.m. injections of carfentanil citrate (2.1 ± 0.3 µg/kg body weight). All elephants were laterally recumbent in 10.1 ± 3.7 min. An additional elephant which received 1.4 µg /kg carfentanil did not become recumbent and additional carfentanil was required for immobilization. Following immobilization, nine elephants were maintained in lateral recumbency by administration of multiple i.v. injections of carfentanil, one elephant received a single i.v.
Pigmy elephants inhabited the islands from the Mediterranean region during the Pleistocene period but became extinct in the course of the Holocene. Despite striking distinctive anatomical characteristics related to insularity, some similarities with the lineage of extant Asian elephants have suggested that pigmy elephants could be most probably seen as members of the genus Elephas. Poulakakis et al. (2006) have recently challenged this view by recovering a short mtDNA sequence from an 800 000 year old fossil of the Cretan pigmy elephant (Elephas creticus).
The evolution of therian mammals is to a large degree marked by changes in their motion systems. One of the decisive transitions has been from the sprawled, bi-segmented to the parasagittal, tri-segmented limb. Here, we review aspects of the tri-segmented limb in locomotion which have been elucidated in our research groups in the last 10 years. First, we report the kinematics of the tri-segmented therian limb from mouse to elephant in order to explore general principles of the therian limb configuration and locomotion.
At speeds between the walk and the gallop, most mammals trot. Primates almost never trot, and it has been claimed that they transition directly from a walk to a gallop without any distinctive mid-speed running gait. If true, this would be another characteristic difference between the locomotion of primates and that of most other quadrupedal mammals. Presently, however, few data exist concerning the actual presence or absence of intermediate-speed gaits (i.e. gaits that are used between a walk and a gallop) in primates.
Tuberculosis has become an important disease in captive elephants, particularly Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Diagnosing tuberculosis in elephants has been problematic as many tests have inadequate sensitivity or specificity.2-4 A multiple-antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was previously investigated for detecting infection in Asian elephants and African elephants (Loxodonta africana); this test had excellent sensitivity and specificity, but needed further evaluation.1 Modifications to the multiple-antigen ELISA panel have since been made.