Posted by: Sandy Steinman | January 14, 2022

What Has Four Legs, a Trunk and a Behavioral Database?

The N. Y. Times reports

From tens of thousands of hours of observation, scientists have compiled a detailed library of African elephant behavior.

Released in late May by the nonprofit group ElephantVoices, the ethogram is a detailed compendium of the basic flavors and phonemes of elephant behavior that an observer is likely to encounter: the flaps, ripples, folds and slaps of the elephant’s enormous, expressive ears; the way the trunk curls up, stretches out, swivels, probes, plucks, sucks and points; the subtle swishings of the tail, which are easy to overlook but should not be; the not-so-subtle weaves and bobs of an excited male’s phallus, which resembles a second trunk and at times gets in a lumbering male’s way; the trumpets, rumbles, greetings, pleas, scolds, teases and threats. About 500 behaviors and 110 behavioral suites are described in a wide variety of contexts, and the library is still growing.

Read more at What Has Four Legs, a Trunk and a Behavioral Database? – The New York Time


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