Study tracks elephant tusks from 16th century shipwreck
From left, animal sciences professor Alfred Roca, postdoctoral researcher Alida de Flamingh and anthropology professor Ripan Malhi led a team that analyzed DNA extracted from elephant tusks recovered from a 16th century shipwreck.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In 1533, the Bom Jesus – a Portuguese trading vessel carrying 40 tons of cargo including gold, silver, copper and more than 100 elephant tusks – sank off the coast of Africa near present-day Namibia. The wreck was found in 2008, and Department of Animal Sciences researchers say they now have determined the source of much of the ivory recovered from the ship.

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