Calf Development and Maternal Rearing Strategies

Phyllis C. Lee and Cynthia J. Moss

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:
Calf Development and Maternal Rearing Strategies

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  • Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology


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This chapter describes normative elephant development and, by extension, the capacity for the modification of behavior or developmental plasticity as a function of individual experiences over a prolonged period. Specifically, it illustrates sex-specific developmental patterns over the first five years of life and discusses the social, developmental, and hormonal influences on sex differences. The chapter explores separately behavior with functions specific to the immature phase—juvenile specializations such as play—and behaviors that emerge and are built upon to form adult behavior, such as foraging skills. It speculates on the long-term consequences of behavioral development in relation to general elephant patterns of social and reproductive maturity.

Keywords: developmental plasticity; calf development; rearing; sex differences; foraging skills; social maturity

Chapter.  7969 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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