Elephants in freedom have the ability to develop their ethological behavior fully. This allows to recognize numerous attitudes that are representative of this species in nature.
4 curious behaviors of elephants released
Due to their size and gregarious nature, matriarchal elephant societies do not usually suffer predation. And, if any member had to be indicated as in danger, they would be the offspring.
Like ungulates, newborn elephants are able to walk quickly and, thus, can keep pace with the pack. But still, they are vulnerable to attack by predators, especially if they separate from the group.
Adults tend to deal with these threats by deterring the carnivore in question: they harass him in a group until he flees. However, they tend not to be aware of the dangers and, therefore, can be surprised.
Healthy adult males are imposing, and with their presence they usually scare away any predator. Even more so considering that it is a peaceful species most of the time.
As with the offspring, sick or injured adults are more likely to fall behind and suffer attacks. Therefore, the social behavior of elephants includes the help of the weakest members of the group.
We can then affirm that predatory pressure – except human hunting – is not a decisive factor in the control of elephant populations.
Foraging or food search
We find elephants in a wide variety of habitats, so their diets are very diverse. Foraging includes everything from herbs and fruits, to barks, roots, leaves and branches.. The combination of the tube, a powerful tongue and a strong body allows them to feed on both small plants and trees.
Factors that influence foraging
- Age: The ability to feed so varied is refined as the animal grows. The young, at first, feed exclusively on milk. But little by little they experiment with other foods, while maintaining breastfeeding until two years of life.
- Sex: in elephants there is a sexual dimorphism that favors males. And this can be seen in the feeding possibilities.
Studies show that groups of males are much less selective in the search for food than females. Males look for quantity, while females opt for quality, which may be related to improving the quality of milk produced for the offspring.
Reproductive behavior of elephants released
Both males and females mate with more than one individual during heat. Even so, females usually have only one baby per pregnancy.
This multiple pairing system is known as polygyny or polygamy.
Females provide shelter for the young during the first 10-15 years of life. Specifically, until sexual maturity in the case of females, and until the period of dispersion in males.
At the time of courtship, male elephants do not have to be in the must. But it is proven that they are reproductively more dominant than those that are not.. This phase of must It is characterized by a haughty and aggressive posture. The head is elevated, the ears are extended and the chest is inflated.
Game behavior in elephants released
The ‘game‘ between animals does not have a vital function, but it serves to prepare individuals for unexpected or stressful situations. Although young elephants are seen carrying twigs, running around, chasing small animals … little is known about the games in this species.
The only thing that is known is that the males have a more aggressive form of play, usually starting false fights with other male specimens of the same age, even with males from other family groups. On the other hand, females have more peaceful encounters, usually with younger females.