A Baby Elephant Met A Cat For The First Time And It Was So Freakin’ Adorable

The cute moment was filmed at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

1. Navann the baby elephant was just walking along with his mother one day when he saw an unusual sight in the grass.

Video available at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Sm4oH-CSaEM. youtube.com

3. Navann tried to play it cool, at first walking past the fluffy orange creature.

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5. But he couldn’t resist going back to check out what it was.

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7. And he was pretty sure he didn’t like it.

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9. So he gave the cat a little kick to let him know who’s boss.

Take that, cat!

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The cat was unfazed.

11. Learn more about Navann and his family at the Elephant Nature Park website.

h/t Tastefully Offensive

Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/baby-elephant-meets-a-cat-for-the-first-time

Horny Elephant Tries To F*ck A Car And Ends Up Crushing It (Videos)

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Elephants are considered to be among the most intelligent creatures in the animal kingdom.

But just because the species as a whole is smart, doesn’t mean every individual elephant is. As with humans, intelligence from animal to animal varies.

The elephant in the above videos is definitely on the lower end of the smarts spectrum.

While on a casual walk through his home at the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand, the bull (another word for male elephant) spotted a shiny silver car.

In a flurry of excitement and apparently raging hormones, he mounted the car and humped it.

Though the vehicle failed to respond to the creature’s sexual advances, he continued to make sweet, sweet love to the car for a few seconds until the hood buckled under his weight.

Perhaps he thought the vehicle was a particularly beautiful (and metallic) breed of elephant. Perhaps he deemed it a mirage.

Whatever the case, he wanted it — and he wanted it badly.

The bizarre display of affection was filmed both by onlookers and by the passengers inside the car, who didn’t seem to be freaking out as much as you might expect.

Onlookers’ footage:


Footage from the car:

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/humor/elephant-humping-car-crushes-it-video/904747/

Elephant Fights off 14 Lions in Zambia (Video)

Elephant Fights off 14 Lions (Video)

A young elephant fends off attacks from a pride of 14 lions at the Norman Carr Safaris Chinzombo Camp in Zambia.

H/T: NY Post

Elephant Picks Up GoPro Camera (Video)

Jack the Elephant politely returns a GoPro camera to the tourist that dropped it during a safari in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

H/T: Say OMG

Elephant Plays The Harmonica

The Smithsonian’s National Zoological Parks brings us this video that has over 145,000 views, and is featured on TheDailyWhat, CBSNews, and MarySue

It’s been discovered that one of the elephants at the National Zoo is musically inclined. When given a harmonica, 36-year-old Asian elephant Shanthi plays some serious music. And she’s not just randomly blowing. There’s actual music being made here. 

 

Read more: http://www.viralviralvideos.com/2012/05/08/elephant-plays-the-harmonica/

Why Do Elephants Rarely Get Cancer?

Despite the ridiculous rumor, sharks do get cancer. Elephants, though, rarely do, and thats a weird phenomenon that scientists have really struggled to explain. But they may have finally cracked it: According to a new study, its all in the genes. Well, one gene, and their 20 copies of it.

With a self-explanatory name, tumor suppressor, this helps get rid of damaged cells that could become cancerous. Humans only have one copy, so researchers think that owning extras could be behind the remarkable ability of these pachyderms to resist cancer. And later on down the line, these intriguing findings may help us in our own fight against cancer (but let’s not turn them into supplements, please?).

But lets rewind a little bit first. Why is it strange that elephants seem to have a reduced burden of cancer? Well, cancer, as you probably know, is a disease that results from cell division gone haywire. Elephants are obviously big animals, so you would logically assume that more cells equals a greater risk of something going wrong. Cell division isnt error-proof, and mistakes that could lead to mutation are often made if not dealt with appropriately.

In steps the Peto paradox: We dont actually see increased cancer incidence in larger species. So how are the biguns staving off the disease? A study by the University of Utah and Arizona State University decided to find out.

They began by seeking to confirm the absence of a positive relationship between body size and cancer incidence, which involved scouring through 14 years of necropsy data in order to calculate tumor rates for 36 species of mammal, spanning sixorders of magnitude in size. As expected, cancer mortality didnt increase with body size, and elephants were estimated to only have a 4.8% cancer mortality rate; in humans its up to 25%.

Next, they scoured the elephant genome in search of clues, and they found something pretty remarkable. Unlike humans that only own the one, elephants have 20 copies, and therefore 40 forms, or alleles (remember chromosomes are in pairs), of a gene called TP53 which codes for a protein called p53. TP53 is whats known as a tumor suppressor gene: these cellular safeguards function to prevent inappropriate cell division and kill off cells to keep things balanced.

When the researchers examined these alleles further, they found that 38 of them seemed to be modified duplicates of the original that have appeared throughout their evolutionary history. To find out if its this extra genetic baggage thats helping the animals resist cancer, the team exposed cells isolated from humans and elephants to DNA-damaging radiation and observed the effects.

Compared to cells obtained from healthy humans, those from elephants committed suicide twice as frequently in response to the damage, which was found to be driven by p53. And when they compared them to cells isolated from patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a disorder in which a missing working copy of TP53 results in a dramatically increased cancer risk, the suicide rate was found to be five times greater. The results are published in JAMA.

By all logical reasoning, elephants should be developing a tremendous amount of cancer, and in fact, should be extinct by now due to such a high risk for cancer, co-senior author Joshua Schiffman said in a statement. We think that making more p53 is natures way of keeping this species alive.

But before we start giving p53 all the praise, its likely that there are other factors at play. For example, an accompanying editorial points out that elephants sluggish metabolic rate is likely coupled with low rates of cell division, which could also contribute to the reduced risk. More research is needed, but its an interesting start nonetheless.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/how-come-elephants-rarely-get-cancer