Whether it’s gathering food, self-defense, or demonstrating dominance, each animal that has tusks uses them for a similar purpose, and they are in danger of being taken away. Poachers are after animal tusks and are endangering many species. Find out what animals have tusks and what you can do to prevent their extinction!
What is a tusk?
Do you know what a tusk looks like, but not sure what purpose it serves for animals that have them? Tusks are enlarged and elongated teeth that serve as a tool for many things. Tusks come in handy for everyday tasks like digging, lifting, gathering food and self-defense. Many associate tusks with elephants, but there are actually many animals that have them and use them to survive. Find out what animals have tusks and what we can do to prevent them from extinction!
What animals have tusks?
Walruses are known for residing in sub-Arctic habitats, whiskers, flippers and having tusks. For walruses, tusks grow throughout the longevity of their life and are also used as symbols of sex, age and even social status. For males, their tusks are longer and wider in comparison to their bodies. They use their tusks to help climb onto the ice to float in the water and as a weapon in self-defense.
Tusks on narwhals are commonly found in males. Their tusk is an enlarged tooth, and some even have the capability to have two tusks. The tusk grows out of their head in a spiral and can grow up to 10 feet long.
Warthogs have two pairs of tusks. One is more harmful than the other and is saved for when the animal needs to inflict serious damage. Males will use the upper pair of tusks when in battle, particularly during mating season.
Elephants are probably the most well known animal for having tusks. Both male and female African elephants have tusks, but only males Asian elephants have tusks. Elephants also have a dominant tusk, like humans have a dominant hand, making the dominant tusk appear to be more worn down. Elephant tusks are sought after for their ivory, this is largely a problem in Asia and Africa. Elephants can feel pain when their tusks are removed and can die due to infection.
Elephants and other animals are being poached for their tusks which end up being traded illegally to produce ivory products. About 20,000 elephants are killed each year for their tusks due to the high demand for ivory in Asia. For Elephants is dedicated to protecting these animals through research, conservation and education. Joining the Herd of Heroes helps elephants all around the world with your monthly donation! Help fight elephant extinction and join today.