‘Incredibly social’: Researchers make stunning find on how African elephants interact with each other

‘Incredibly social’: Researchers make stunning find on how African elephants interact with each other

A recently-published study claims that the sounds of African elephants may have a lot more significance than humans think.

The research, which was published in a journal called Nature Ecology and Evolution on Monday, found that African elephants call each other unique names.

The study explains that researchers followed elephants around to observe how they communicated to each other, particularly by taking careful note of which elephants called out sounds and which elephants appeared to respond.

The names came in the form of low rumbles, which elephants can hear from long distances. Some of the sounds elephants make are too low to be heard by humans, which was a challenge in the study.

VIOLA THE CIRCUS ELEPHANT WITH HISTORY OF ESCAPES BREAKS FREE AGAIN IN MONTANA, HEADS TOWARD CASINO SLOTS

Researchers then used a machine learning model to see if a computer program could determine which elephant which was being addressed at a time. The machine only guessed the correct elephant around 28% of the time. An author of the study told the Associated Press that researchers were not expecting an astronomically-high percentage of correct guesses.

“Just like humans, elephants use names, but probably don’t use names in the majority of utterances, so we wouldn’t expect 100%,” Cornell University biologist Mickey Pardo explained.

COLORADO ANGLER HELPS AUTHORITIES CRACK DOWN ON GIGANTIC INVASIVE FISH: ‘HIGHLY UNUSUAL’

Experts also played recordings of the animals’ “names” to individual elephants in order to observe their reactions. The elephants responded strongly by flapping their ears, lifting their trunks and appearing energetic when they heard their names.

Elephants are one of very few species that are believed to call each other by unique names, other than humans. Dolphins and parrots are believed to also use names within their species.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

Wildlife biologists have long known that elephants are social creatures, but one of the study’s co-authors says that the research “crack[s] open the door a bit to the elephant mind.”

“Elephants are incredibly social, always talking and touching each other — this naming is probably one of the things that underpins their ability to communicate to individuals,” Colorado State University ecologist George Wittemyer told the Associated Press.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *