PhD thesis University of theWitwatersrand, Johannesburg
Sexual dimorphism in size in the African savanna elephant, Loxodonta africana, is pronounced. Allometric differences between the sexes lead to dissimilar nutritional demands, which result in sex related distinctions in feeding ecology. This extension of the Jarman-Bell Principle to an intra-specific level has been referred to as the Body Size Hypothesis (BSH).??This study established whether different nutritional requirements of elephant size/sex classes resulted in functional distinctions in feeding ecology between elephant bull groups and family units. Plant based surveys on woody species were conducted at the feeding sites of both bull groups and family units of elephants during the dry season period of resource limitation within the Associated Private Nature Reserves of South Africa.