Elephant communication

Elephants do talk to each other but their ‘language’ is very different. Elephant families coordinate their movements with family members miles away. They could be split up for weeks, and then all meet at the same time at the same place. Perhaps they communicate with each other in a superlow range – by means of sound frequencies inaccessible to humans. Elephants have special sensors (pascinian and meissner corpuscles) in their trunk to detect vibrations [Grandin 2005]. Elephants also communicate by thumping on the ground – using seismic waves. They ‘talk’ by touch, body posture and movements, ears, tail, smell, and vocalizations. Researcher Joyce Pool has found that in their day-to-day interactions, elephants use more than 70 kinds of vocal sounds and 160 different visual and tactile signals, expressions and gestures. Much of elephant language, however, is ‘inaudible’ to humans. If we want to understand elephants and their fascinating world, we have to learn to see it from their perspective and to identify their means of communication and to interpret the elephant language.


2 thoughts on “Elephant communication

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  1. I understand that elephants have very sensitive feet and can pick up even small vibrations in the ground from miles away. The low rumbles and trunk thumping by a group can be felt by another group some distance away. Fascinating! 🐘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, elephants are extraordinary animals! And we can ‘listen to’ them – if we watch their body language, the way they communicate to each other, we will feel/hear ‘their voice’, their stories.

    Liked by 1 person

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