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In the middle of the oldest
desert in the world,
walking in a dry riverbed such as this one.......
you travel far enough and search hard enough,
you may find a family of elephants.
Enduring great hardships,
they are able to survive in this harsh environment through adaptation.
What distinguishes them from other elephants?
Physically, the pads of their feet seem wider, to walk on the soft sand.
But more importantly, they realise the value of the trees in this desert and
break fewer branches than elephants in wetter regions with abundant vegetation.
Young trees are allowed to grow and more than replace the few lost to browsing.
This is in striking contrast to normal elephant behaviour.
Elephant and man are known as the two most destructive on earth.
What is worth
climbing down such a steep and rocky hill?
A dust bath!
Genetically these elephant are
identical to their non-desert cousins.
This suggests their clever adaptation to the desert
is mainly a change of attitude,
of interaction with the environment through learning, experience and teaching.
Youngsters learn by example from the elders and in turn
pass on the knowledge when they are adult.
Maybe a school of environmental conservation and preservation?
If elephants can learn it through necessity and survive,
maybe we can before it is too late.