Radiology & Imaging

Imaging uncovers secrets of medicine's mysterious ivory manikins

Little is known about the origins of manikins—small anatomical sculptures thought to be used by doctors four centuries ago—but now advanced imaging techniques have offered a revealing glimpse inside these captivating ...

Health

Massage gives infants breath of life in Ivory Coast

A mother from a working-class district of Abidjan watches fearfully while the physiotherapist presses down on the thorax and abdomen of her crying, struggling baby to help him breathe.

Health

Ivory Coast is latest to crack down on alcohol sachets

Each morning at dawn, taxi driver Rene Kouame stops by his neighborhood bar in Abidjan for a potent pick-me-up: two plastic sachets of "Che Guevara," a drink of spiced rum and a host of chemicals that costs 100 CFA francs, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Post-Ebola, West Africans flock back to bush meat, with risk

As the deadly outbreak of Ebola has subsided, people in several West African countries are flocking to eat bush meat again after restrictions were lifted on the consumption of wild animals like hedgehogs and cane rats. But ...

page 1 from 4

Ivory

Ivory is a term for dentine, which constitutes the bulk of the teeth and tusks of animals, when used as a material for art or manufacturing. Ivory is little used today, but has been important since ancient times for making a range of items, from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes, joint tubes, piano keys and billiard balls. Elephant ivory has been the most important source, but ivory from many species including the hippopotamus, walrus, mammoth, sperm whale, and narwhal has been used. The word ultimately derives from the Ancient Egyptian âb, âbu "elephant", through the Latin ebor- or ebur.

The use and trade of elephant ivory has become controversial because it has contributed to seriously declining populations in many countries. In 1975 the Asian elephant was placed on Appendix One of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which prevents international trade between member countries. The African elephant was placed on Appendix One in January 1990. Since then some southern African countries have had their populations of elephants "downlisted" to Appendix Two allowing sale of some stockpiles.

Ivory has availed itself to many ornamental and practical uses. Prior to the introduction of plastics, it was used for billiard balls, piano keys, Scottish bagpipes, buttons and a wide range of ornamental items. Synthetic substitutes for ivory have been developed. Plastics have been viewed by piano purists as an inferior ivory substitute on piano keys, although other recently developed materials more closely resemble the feel of real ivory.

The chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same regardless of the species of origin. The trade in certain teeth and tusks other than elephant is well established and widespread, therefore "ivory" can correctly be used to describe any mammalian teeth or tusks of commercial interest which is large enough to be carved or scrimshawed (Crocodile teeth are also used).

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA