What are elephant tusks made of?

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In addition to the trunk and the big, floppy ears, one of the most recognizable features of an elephant are the tusks!

Despite their enormous size, an elephant’s tusks are nothing more than a set of the elephant’s teeth! (Incisors, to be exact.) What they’re made up of is known as ivory, a type of tissue high in calcium also known as “dentin” which is found in the teeth of most animals. – Because an elephant’s tusks can grow to be several feet in length, the ivory in these special teeth is different than most other animal’s teeth because it appears in such a great quantity!

Since ivory is easy to carve and smooth, it has often been very sought-after for use in making everything from decorative items to tools. However, the purchase or sale of ivory has been banned or limited in most places because elephants were being hunted so much for their ivory that they were starting to become endangered! Now, most things that were once made with ivory are made from plastic, metal, or other materials instead.

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Further information

    Elephants aren’t the only animals with big tusks known for having lots of ivory – animals such as walruses and hippos have it too!

  • Exploration


    Why do you think it’s so important to preserve animals such as elephants who have become endangered due to man-made problems, like pollution or hunting? 
    What are some ways that you can help prevent endangering animals? One good example is to recycle, so that you don’t pollute or use up too many natural resources that can alter an animal’s environment.
    What are some other ideas you have??
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