Tuesday, June 22, 2021

"DNA recovered from extinct miniature elephants of Sicily"


The island of Sicily sits in the Mediterranean Sea just off the toe of Italy. While today the wildlife that lives on the island is much like that of the mainland, in the past it used to be home to a range of miniature animals.

This included at various points in its past two different miniature elephants.

One of these was truly tiny, reaching just a metre in height and likely weighing around 300kg, they were about the same size as a Shetland pony. After this tiny species went extinct, a second miniature elephant evolved, albeit slightly bigger than this.