1 Tahrcountry Musings: Decoding the secret Language of the Elephants

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Decoding the secret Language of the Elephants

Researchers at San Diego Zoo have come up with some new findings regarding the communication in Elephants. They have discovered that two-thirds of the partly audible elephant call is at frequencies that are too low to be picked up by human ears. 

To unravel the intricacies of the inaudible part of the growl, the team attached a microphone sensitive to these low frequencies and a GPS tracking system to eight of the zoo's female elephants. The researchers then correlateted the noises the animals were making with their activity patterns.

The team has discovered that pregnant females use this low frequency communication to announce to the rest of their herd the imminent parturition. In the last 12 days preceding parturition there is definite change in the low part of the growl, the low part that we can't hear. The researchers believe that the signals are also meant to be an alert for other elephants in the herd to look out for predators. Animals like packs of hyenas are a big threat to new born babies.

Another fascinating finding was that the infrasonic calls made by female elephants in season can be heard by males more than two miles away.

The scientists are continuing to analyze data to learn more about this secret language of the elephants. This sure has connotations in the conservation of elephants.

1 comment:

Xavier VJ said...

Interesting post Mohan