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Ivory is the hard, mellow-colored dentine substance of elephant and walrus tusks (the upper incisors). The teeth of the hippopotamus and the sperm whale resemble tusk ivory and also carry commercial value. Elephant ivory, however, is the most soughtafter type, deriving from the African or Indian elephant. Wooly mammoth and mastodon ivory is also popular, the remains of which are found in Canada, America, and Siberia. Connoisseurs note a difference in the quality of “live” and “dead” ivory, the former from recently deceased animals and the latter having lain in the ground for thousands of years. Live ivory is more resilient and resists cracking and is therefore preferred. The high value placed on live ivory, however, is driving the African elephant into extinction. For millennia, ...

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