Last week’s EleFACT was a look at how elephants possess the ability to use tools in various aspects of their life, both in captivity and in the wild. This week, we’ll look at another observed skill – mimicry.
Recent studies have shown signs that elephants are capable of mimicking sounds they hear, a skill previously thought to be only applicable to whales, dolphins, bats, primates, and birds. The discovery was initially made when an orphaned elephant named Mlaika seemed to be copying the sounds of trucks passing by. Another African elephant, Calimero, was in captivity with Asian elephants and began to make chirping sounds – a behavior that is typically specific to Asian elephants. The chirps became as common a vocalization, or perhaps even more common than the deep rumbles that he would normally make as part of the African elephant species.
We know that elephants create low-frequency sounds in the systemic vibrations that occur when they walk, and we’ve discussed in previous posts that this is also a form of communication. Research has found that female elephants of the same herd who were close in relationship have been more likely to produce rumbles to other members at twice the rate of those who had lesser integrated members. We can draw the conclusion that members can differentiate different calls and vibrations and be able to mimic and repeat them to communicate to other herd members in unique ways. Other forms of research are in the work to discover whether elephants, in all of their extensive means of communication, actually possess different dialects in their rumbles, chirps, and squeaks as well.
Photo of Guille
- PO Box 2426
- Brentwood, TN 37024
- (615) 435-9523
- Ways to Support
- GSE Merchandise
Nancy saysApril 7, 2023 at 2:21 pm
I remember when Tarra (in Tennessee) picked up the shovel and was using it!
Carol saysApril 7, 2023 at 3:00 pm
So amazing. We don’t give these and many other beings, credit for being very intelligent and sentient in their communication. Utterly magnificent🏻🙏🏻
Barb saysApril 7, 2023 at 3:01 pm
That’s new information for me. Love these EleFACTS!
Melinda saysApril 7, 2023 at 5:34 pm
Fascinating! These are the most marvelous and amazing beings!
J.Pansare saysApril 8, 2023 at 8:30 pm
In Hindu Religion, Elephants are considered to be one of the most revered animal. Elephants and Whales ( God Fish) are believed to posses highest intelligence among mammals.
Tammy saysApril 10, 2023 at 5:10 pm
Wow, another amazing fact about these incredible animals I’m impressed but most definitely not surprised 💕🐘🦋
Subscribe to our Blog
Shop & Support Elephants
Visit our online store and and help spread the word about the need for sanctuary for captive elephants.
Give Through Our Wishlist
Shop and choose a treat or much-needed item for one of the elephants.
Global Sanctuary for Elephants
Stay connected with our herd
"*" indicates required fields
MISSION: Protecting, rescuing, and providing sanctuary for elephants worldwide.
Global Sanctuary for Elephants is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt, public charity status (EIN 46-3564818) and all contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
© Global Sanctuary for Elephants. All Rights Reserved
Your ticket for the: EleFact Friday: Elephants and Mimicry
EleFact Friday: Elephants and Mimicry