Elephants are magnificent creatures. African and Asian elephants (also known as the Indian elephant) are believed to have diverged from a common ancestor around 7.6 million years ago.

They are the largest living land creatures, and are seen as a symbol for wisdom in many cultures, and even revered in some religions.

Unfortunately, the elephant is endangered, for many reasons – almost all of which are caused by humans. (Listen to the episodes to find out more)

Brains Matter started a series of interviews on the topic of elephants back in 2007, and has interviewed foremost experts in the field, including the irreplaceable Professor Roger Short.

Professor Short comparing the molar tooth of a Mammoth to that of an African elephant, Loxodonta Africana, collected in Uganda.

It is interesting that the Mammoth tooth is very similar in its ridge structure to an Asian elephant, and quite unlike the African elephant. The Latin name Loxodonta refers to the lozenge-shaped ridges on the tooth.

Since Asian and African elephants come from a common ancestor, and eat much the same type of food, how is it that their teeth have evolved to be so different? Send me your thoughts!

Topics covered include (to date):

  • elephant communication
  • elephant evolution
  • usage of elephants
  • the history of elephants
  • mahouts
  • elephant breeding
  • elephant intelligence
  • vocalisations
  • comparisons of African and Asian elephants
  • zoos and elephant births
  • and of course, the plight of the elephant, and what we can do to try and save them.

In December, 2008, I received the following email from Professor Short:

I have already been contacted by one most enthusiastic viewer,
Glen Antonovich,  with whom we hope to collaborate.  It is a great
Christmas present!

                              Roger Short

And then in 2009, I received the following email from Professor Short:

Thanks exclusively to Brains Matter, I was contacted by an Accountant,
Glen Antonovich, who lives in Melbourne and is devoted to elephants!  
He has offered his services free to register a Charity, which we have
decided to call "Never Forget Elephants", to promote the conservation
of the Asian elephant.  It would be great to involve you in the next
chapter of this ongoing story,

                            Best wishes


This is indeed wonderful news, and of course, the Brains Matter podcast fully supports this charity. As of 2010, the charity is on the verge of being announced to the public, and we continue to monitor and support all efforts by Never Forget Elephants, and communicate those efforts to the listeners of Brains Matter.

Brains Matter shows its appreciation to all involved in the creation of this wonderful charity to help save the Asian Elephant, and all the work put in by Glen Antonovich, Professor Roger Short, Evan Bittner, and Frank Connolly.

Please support this charity and see if Brains Matter listeners can make a difference through science and understanding.


Never Forget Elephants – Terms of Reference – courtesy Professor Roger Short.

Never Forget Elephants Facebook Fan Page