Signals, Gestures, and Behavior of African Elephants

Joyce H. Poole and Petter Granli

in The Amboseli Elephants

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780226542232
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226542263 | DOI:
Signals, Gestures, and Behavior of African Elephants

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This chapter, which draws on photographs and descriptions in published material to describe many of the displays, signals, postures, and gestures of African elephants, aims to provide a detailed description of the varied elements in the behaviors of elephants so that they can be recognized and contextually understood in the field. Most of the entries in the chapter are true displays or signals. In addition to signals, the chapter includes movements, postures, and gestures that are not necessarily intentful, but which may be a consequence of an elephant's state or situation. Most of these latter behaviors also convey specific information to observers (both human and elephant) and may function as true signals. Finally, the chapter includes a few postures and behaviors that elephants do only in specific situations.

Keywords: African elephants; gestures; signals; elephant behavior; postures; displays

Chapter.  10844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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