Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hearing voices: elephants can distinguish friends and foes

With experience, elephants learn that some humans are dangerous, while others are harmless.

Cool Elephant Fact 1:  When faced with a leopard call, elephants will not bother moving or changing their activity. When faced with a lion call, they freeze in place, perk up their ears to listen, and move off silently to avoid trouble.

Cool Elephant Fact 2:  They do the same with different groups of people.

One key to survival and biological fitness is knowing your enemies -- fleeing costs energy, so animals that know when to run and when to keep feeding will get to feed more than those that are perpetually nervous or interrupted while feeding.

In southern Kenya, around Amboseli National Park, Maasai people herd cattle and traditionally wear bright red cloaks. They also have a history of killing elephants to prove their strength or to compete for water or grazing space.

Mount Kilimanjaro rising up in the mist, taken from within Amboseli National Park in Kenya

Neighboring Kamba people grow crops, speak Kikamba langauge, wear light-colored clothing, and tend not to bother elephants.

We can tell them apart, and apparently so can elephants, by sight, smell, and sound. We are one of the few threats to elephants, though they seem to sense the relative risk of harm from different groups of people -- not all humans are a threat.

Researchers in Kenya found that elephants reacted aggressively to seeing unworn red garments (the color used in Maasai clothing) but not to seeing unworn white ones.

Maasai man with a brightly colored shuka in the eastern Serengeti, Tanzania. Photo: Steve Pastor-Wikipedia

The elephants also fled from red garments worn for 5 days by Maasai but not from ones worn by Kamba; in other words, they know that threatening Maasai smell different from Kamba people and react accordingly, as smelling a Maasai warrior usually means he is nearby.


Hearing is believing


And, perhaps more impressively, they can distinguish language. These are animals with amazing hearing and the ability to produce and understand a range of calls amongst themselves. Elephants use this ability to tell the difference in ethnicity, sex, and age of humans through cues in people's voices.

Kenyan elephants react differently to playbacks of the Ma language spoken by the Maasai and other languages, including Kikamba, spoken by the Kamba people.

Researchers conducted 142 such playbacks with 47 Amboseli elephant families, each time playing a different human voice through a concealed speaker placed 50 meters (164 feet) from the animals. Elephants also bunched up defensively far more when hearing a Maasai man's voice than a woman or a boy's voice, as it is normally men that will harm an elephant.

Here's a National Geographic video of a herd's behavior upon hearing the Maasai man say "Look, look over there, a group of elephants is coming:"


That is a silent and rapid retreat, listening as they go.


Go Old Ladies!


An experience counts here too: herds led by older matriarchs (>42 years old) didn't retreat upon hearing voices of Maasai boys, whereas those led by younger females moved away (unnecessarily) 40% of the time.

The presence of older females, who use their years of experience to keep their families safe and productive, is thus critical to the success of elephant herds.


So elephants can tell the difference among humans that have historically posed a risk to them (Maasai men) from those that don't (women, kids, Kamba people), and they can do this seeing, smelling and listening -- it's no wonder they've survived as long as they have alongside people.  Nevertheless, even these amazing senses can't outwit armed poachers or the clearing of their habitat for crops and villages, so there is still a lot we humans need to do to support them.

39 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this blog with us. You are sharing information about elephants and their ability to distinguish friends and foes.I wondered when I heard this information.Thanks for sharing.Most writing services are the better service that provides detailed and effective information related to educational basis.Custom essay writing service is the better service that provides detailed and effective information related to educational basis.

    ReplyDelete
  2. How wonderful a blog can be, who could have imagined. Thanks to the author.More Info

    ReplyDelete
  3. Indeed, even with the correct strategy and inspiration, a man attempting the previously mentioned works out, or any activity besides, can fall flat!https://www.gympros.com/shop/life-fitness-integrity-series-treadmill-clst/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Truth be told, it can be very fulfilling in the event that you take your own particular health and fitness into your own hands. http://www.sheltonstate.edu/financial_aid/external_scholarships.aspx

    ReplyDelete
  5. This incorporates being proficient about the items you are advancing, with the goal that you don't come to offer items you don't know anything about.https://www.patreon.com/precorellpticals/creators

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a good approach to the subject, also think so.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. There are many hiking, traveling and tourism liker in all over the world, and now a trend has been also started that people like to share their experiences by any website made by website development services companies and other professional who give them platform to share their experiences.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Remember hearing is one of your senses, and it's your right to decide what you like. If you don't like the taste or smell of something you avoid it. If you touch something and it hurts you don't touch it again. Your goal, besides better hearing, is better hearing that you are comfortable with.sensorineural hearing loss treatment

    ReplyDelete
  10. Alarmingly, the numbers of often self-inflicted noise-induced loss of hearing are rapidly rising. As this may be a symptom of an underlying condition, it is important to never simply ignore it, no matter what the age of the person and no matter what the family hearing history might be.sudden hearing loss treatment

    ReplyDelete
  11. On the off chance that utilizing nourishment for both hazard anticipation and easing back the movement of hearing misfortune are your objectives, the accompanying regular cures will assist you with restoring them and enormously decrease your odds of hearing misfortune. hearing aid center Nassau Country

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is lighting up post, superb work, I like this substance and wish to investigate extra from you. an obligation of thankfulness is all together for such an illuminating post. thesis help

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Appreciate it! JINAN elephant CNC

    ReplyDelete

  14. Cleanliness is one of the important things and attention must be paid to the constant cleaning of the place and care in order to have a house free from dust and dirt, as having a completely clean place is one of the things that every housewife seeks for and our company is used
    شركة تنظيف بعنيزة

    شركة تنظيف مجالس بعنيزة

    شركة مكافحة حشرات بعنيزة

    شركة نقل عفش بعنيزة

    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بعنيزة

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bhubaneswar Escorts presents the most adorable and sexual independent Bhubaneswar escorts services to furnish you essential closeness with call girls in Bhubaneswar .

    ReplyDelete
  16. My title is Rubby Rathor . I am in my mid 21's, (5, 11") tall, impressive gone up against, young Independent Escort in Surat Call Girls besides working with Surat escorts Benefit. My estimations are 36C - 28 - 35 (all characteristic). I by and large get upgrade by astounding figure and strong great values, surprising caramel locate that are smooth, full and shriek to be kissed and a shocking figure lady. Others have talked to me as competent, honest to goodness, soothing, sensible, and astonishing Surat escorts Agency, Surat Call Young lady escorts and without disallowance the foremost advertising and sort of fans. I was conceived in Surat Escort Services, in any case, was voyaging all over the world since I was a kid, that time traveling is my side intrigued in way of life. My most cherished spots are Surat, Goa, Mumbai, and Rajasthan. I get a kick out of the chance to find my heaven besides energized around the modern climate in assembly conspicuous individuals bunches. bhubaneswar-escorts l cuttack-escorts l jharsuguda-escorts l puri-escorts

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. ลู่วิ่ง

    ReplyDelete
  18. Udaipur Escorts fulfill your desires give a lot of pleasure
    If you are tired of numerous advice on how and where to Find Udaipur Escorts, right you have come to the right place.We offer class and good Udaipur call Girl services! I will make sure that we both will enjoy our time together!ready to call and meet you for serious relationships !!
    Udaipur Call Girls
    Udaipur Escorts
    Escort Services in Udaipur

    ReplyDelete
  19. Meeting with various kinds of girls just for sex reasons for existing is a truly beneficial thing for you when you deal with your hookups with Indore Escorts.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi men Nice post. It is really interesting.
    Welcome the Best Delhi escorts service

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi men Nice post. It is really interesting.
    Welcome the Best Delhi escorts service

    ReplyDelete
  22. All this hot and provocative Escorts in Dwarka won't just edify your temperament yet will assist you with feeling the hotness around you in the room you are available. Also, in a similar treatment, you will be going to have with these Dwarka Escorts.
    Dwarka Escorts | Dwarka Escorts

    ReplyDelete
  23. Be as a piece of your own partner, our ahmedabad escorts gives you genuine romance, devotion and sentiment that you have been searching for quite a while. So in the event that you are in Ahmedabad and need an unadulterated ally to go with you than we can ask you to see our models at display page and let us think about your decision.
    morbi escorts
    narmada escorts
    surat escorts
    navsari escorts
    panchmahal escorts
    patan escorts

    ReplyDelete
  24. Explore the profiles of guwahati escorts, guwahati call girls, call girls in guwahati and
    escorts in guwahati for female companionship in top rated hotels.
    Escort service in Guwahati
    Call girl service in Guwahati

    ReplyDelete
  25. Make your daily life passionately amazing with Guwahati escort and call girl services.
    Romance is not a simple factor that you can bargain with.
    Guwahati Call Girls
    Call Girls in Guwahati

    ReplyDelete
  26. Maybe you are also looking for the right person to ensure the higher quality
    sex and that’s why you are in this place because here we are going to share
    the data and information of Guwahati Escorts.
    Escort services in Guwahati
    Call Girl services in Guwahati

    ReplyDelete
  27. Explore the profiles of guwahati escorts, guwahati call girls, call girls in guwahati
    and escorts in guwahati for female companionship in top rated hotels.
    Get affordable escort services in guwahati hotels now.
    College escorts in Guwahati |
    Housewife escorts in Guwahati |
    Assamese call girls in Guwahati |
    Nepali call girls in Guwahati |
    Female escorts in Guwahati |
    High profile escorts in Guwahati |
    Russian escorts in Guwahati |
    College call girls in Guwahati |

    ReplyDelete