On Monday 9 August 2004, BBC Radio 4 broadcast the first of a series on “Real Just So Stories”. Stimulated by Rudyard Kipling’s stories for children, the programme presenter, Alistair McGowan, asks: “What really happened?” This episode was entitled “How the Elephant Got Its Trunk”
Adrian Lister, Professor of Palaeobiology at University College London, explained that the trunk leaves no fossils. However, the skull can be studied for evidence of muscle attachment points. He said that all the potential ancestors for the elephant were small, possibly amphibious, and rather like a hippo in not having a trunk. However, as the animals grew in size, they would have found it difficult to get supplies of water. They could not stoop to drink because of their short necks and stocky legs. A trunk would allow them to get water without stooping. The ancestral elephants were “blessed by evolution with this wonderful structure”.
Storyteller : Adrian Lister, Professor of Palaeobiology at University College London
Story Research: http://www.biblicalcreation.org.uk/scientific_issues/bcs143.html
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