I’m super excited! I just published my second paper for the year – “Investigation of individual and group variability in estrous cycle characteristics in female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the Oregon Zoo” in Theriogenology. If you’re familiar with our site you’ll recognize the subject matter from our projects page.
“Overall, we found these elephants to be highly resilient in that major life events (births, deaths, and changes in herd structure) had minimal effect on cycle dynamics over time. In conclusion, the higher range in cycle phase characteristics is likely because of the larger number of elephants studied and longer duration of longitudinal monitoring, and may be more representative of the captive population as a whole. Furthermore, identification of significant interanimal variability suggests that understanding the complexities of herd reproductive characteristics could facilitate development of more effective institution-specific breeding management strategies.”
This was such a cool study for me and really proved how much information you can get by revisiting vet and medical records already in existence at zoological facilities to learn new (or append already existing) scientific knowledge. So for all of you with access to this type of data – go and mine it, you never know what you’ll come up with!