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dc.contributor.advisorEggert, Lori S. (Lori Suzanne)eng
dc.contributor.authorFinch, Tabitha Marie, 1985-eng
dc.date.issued2013eng
dc.date.submitted2013 Falleng
dc.descriptionAbstract from short.pdf.eng
dc.description"December 2013."eng
dc.description"A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School at the University of Missouri In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy."eng
dc.descriptionDissertation supervisor: Dr. Lori S. Eggert.eng
dc.descriptionIncludes vita.eng
dc.description.abstractFor my research I used noninvasive dung samples to study the ecology, evolution and behavior of the African elephant. First, I looked for positive selection in the mitochondrial genome between the two African elephant species, the forest (Loxodonta cyclotis) and savanna (L. africana) elephant. I found evidence of selection in regions that might alter the enzymes that make up the machinery of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway. These mutations may relate to the different metabolic requirements between these two species. Next, I investigated physiological factors that influence crop raiding behavior, which is when elephants enter farms and either consume or destroy the crops. My study is the first to confirm through genetic methods that female elephants crop raid. In addition, my results suggest that crop raiders have fewer parasites than non-crop raiders, thus implying there may be a fitness benefit to this behavior. Lastly, I sequenced and compared the gut microbial communities of forest and savanna elephants. I found significant differences in the types of bacteria found between the two species that might be related to their unique ecologies. My research offers insight into important ecological and evolutionary questions using a free-ranging wildlife species of conservation concern.eng
dc.description.bibrefIncludes bibliographical references (pages 89-105).eng
dc.format.extent1 online resource (viii, 107 pages) : illustrations (some color), mapseng
dc.identifier.oclc899141355eng
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10355/44656
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.32469/10355/44656eng
dc.languageEnglisheng
dc.publisherUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaeng
dc.relation.ispartofcollectionUniversity of Missouri--Columbia. Graduate School. Theses and Dissertationseng
dc.source.originalSubmitted by University of Missouri--Columbia Graduate School.eng
dc.titleA noninvasive approach to understanding adaptation, crop raiding behavior, and the fecal microbiota of the African elephanteng
dc.typeThesiseng
thesis.degree.disciplineBiological sciences (MU)eng
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Missouri--Columbiaeng
thesis.degree.levelDoctoraleng
thesis.degree.namePh. D.eng


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