|OVARIAN AGEING IN WILD AFRICAN ELEPHANTS|
Fiona Stansfield - clinical embryologist and andrologist for Alfalab, Harare, Zimbabwe.
Fiona's study for an MSc Clinical Embryology (Leeds) is “Ovarian Ageing in Wild African Elephants”. This study impacts on three potential areas of interest:
For this study fresh ovarian samples are being collected from elephant hunts and prepared for microscopic analysis. The number and size of follicles present in sections of the ovary are being counted and related to the age of the elephant cow. From this data an initial theory for the follicular dynamics of the elephant ovary can be proposed. To obtain the necessary data for age estimation, measurements of height and length are made on the carcass and the lower jaw is photographed and molars measured.
Due to the ban on culling, only limited reproductive histological data has been available from elephants since 1980's. I am deeply grateful to Charlton McCallum Safaris for their help in obtaining the necessary samples and data which have made this study possible.
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