This is a young bull, about 15 years old, who was born without the ability to grow tusks. One can tell this a congenital malady (and not broken off), because there is no 'socket' where a tusk had developed in his jaw. It would have been interesting to learn what other teeth he has. The tusk is a incisor tooth. It is not uncommon to see bulls with only one tusk and a flat area on the other side from which the other tusk should have grown. [Moremi NP, Botswana].
The tempers have flared between the same two very thirsty bulls.They began shoving one another. We could hear their tusks knocking together. Some of the others lost their patience as well, causing a lot of grunting and tusk-clacking. It was inevitable that the mighty forces being exerted by these huge beasts would result in breaking some tusks. [Savuti, Botswana].
Elephant: The pushing and shoving of the previous pair continued. This was not serious fighting--just a way for them to 'let off steam'! The only damage that will occur is perhaps breaking the tusk. Note that the animal on the R already has a broken tusk that is white and sharp, suggesting that it might have happened very recently. As an elephant grows older, the tusk (an incisor tooth) becomes more brittle because the tusk's marrow diminishes. [Savuti, Chobe NP, Botswana].