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Return of the African Elephant

January 28, 2015

Gorongosa Field Notes: Return of the African Elephant

By Tyler Coverdale - PhD student in Rob Pringle's Lab in Princetom
According to a centuries-old story, one day an elephant was brought in front of a group of blind men and each was asked to describe the animal by touching only one part of its body. The first touched the leg and reported that elephants must be like pillars. The second, grasping the trunk, reported that elephants were like tree branches. Still others felt the body, tail and tusks and suggested that elephants were like walls, ropes, or pipes. The men, unable to agree, began to quarrel. After some time a wise man walked by and, seeing their predicament, helped settle their argument: “All of you are correct,” he said, “the only reason your answers are different is because each of you only touched one part of the elephant.”  Read More