Elephants like “ears”, scientists have found
MOSCOW, 24 APR — RIA Novosti. Elephants males like “ears” in the observation of their behavior showed that they prefer to choose those females whose “buzz” they don’t know, say scientists in an article published in the journal Scientific Reports.
“Our study showed that males can extract interesting social information from those sounds, which the females use to communicate with other elephants. This discovery suggests that we need to pay attention to the intellectual abilities of males, including their ability to distinguish voices. It is not clear how long the males remember the voices of females, and whether it helps them to choose the right partner,” says Angela stöger (Angela Stoeger) from the University of Vienna (Austria).
African and Indian elephants are highly social animals that use a variety of methods to communicate with each other, starting with trubine trunk and ending with subsonic whisper. Elephants, as scientists discovered recently, have a good memory, remember all your friends and enemies and have the ability to empathize with others.
Some elephants, as found steeger few years ago, watching a lone male named koshik at the zoo of the city of Yongin in South Korea, even trying to communicate with people and try to learn those “sounds” (the Korean word in this case) that we use for conversations with their own kind. Kaushik hardly understand what he is saying, but he puts extra effort in order to accurately imitate the speech of Koreans, inserting the trunk in the mouth and uttering unusual for elephants sounds.
This discovery and other examples of good memory and high intelligence of elephants has prompted steeger and her colleague Anton Botica (Anton Baotic) the idea that males can use their ability to distinguish voices and to emulate them in order to choose the females during the mating season.
The fact that elephants males usually lead a solitary lifestyle and do not live in herds consisting mainly of females and young individuals. In the forests of Africa and India, the visibility is extremely limited, and females can use your voice as a kind of questionnaire on the “Dating site” for all potential suitors.
Following this idea, steeger and Biotic conducted an unusual experiment. They went to Addo national Park in South Africa, where there were many elephants in the open air and in enclosures and tested as living there males will respond to recorded voices of familiar females and strangers living in other parts of the Park or in other nurseries.
As shown by these experiments, the elephants preferred to walk up and a long time to study those speakers, where there were calls completely unfamiliar females, whose “buzz” is more distant in structure from that which they had heard in the past months and years.
Interestingly, the reaction of the females was reversed — they preferred to approach the speaker, he heard the sounds of familiar animals. Scientists believe that this is due to differences in lifestyle males and females — the latter are linked by strong social ties with other members of their herd, while males have no such attachment.
According to steeger and Botica, a similar attraction of males to strangers may be due to evolutionary reasons — it can help them to avoid degeneration, however, this statement is yet to be proven during a longer observation of how males interact with several females in the wild.