Chapter

Behavioral Contexts of Elephant Acoustic Communication

Joyce H. Poole

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226542263.003.0009
Behavioral Contexts of Elephant Acoustic Communication

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This chapter, which builds upon an established body of work on elephant communication to examine the calls emitted by African elephants, Loxodonta africana, from the standpoint of social function, proposes several new call types. It describes a broad range of behavioral contexts and examines, qualitatively and quantitatively, the acoustic signals with which they are associated, making a first attempt to discriminate between proposed contextual call subtypes based on a number of acoustic measurements. The chapter then uses these and contextual differences to illustrate how vocal signals form an essential and integral component of the complex dynamics of elephant society. It begins by describing what is known about elephant acoustic communication and vocal repertoire, in general, and then examines in detail how elephants in Amboseli use acoustic signals in the context of their sociality.

Keywords: elephant communication; African elephants; social function; acoustic signals; elephant society; elephant acoustic

Chapter.  22188 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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