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Nature & Environment

Elephant personalities revealed by scientists

By T.K. Randall
October 31, 2012 · Comment icon 11 comments

Image Credit: Sandra Fenley
Elephants are now believed to have four distinct personalities to help them survive in the African bush.
With each personality type comes a different role within a herd. The 'leaders' or matriarchs for instance tend to be the oldest and have the most influence over the movements and direction of the group. Other personality types included 'gentle giants' who are the most reliable and the 'playful rogues' who are a lot more curious and active.

"Each individual in a group has a very different personality type," said Professor Phyllis Lee. "We found that these personalities have a key role in how successful the family is and how they cope with threats and adversity like starvation or drought."
Elephants have four distinct personalities that help their herd survive in the African bush, scientists have found.


Source: Telegraph | Comments (11)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hilander 12 years ago
They usually don't turn into giant psychos until they have been around us for a while.
Comment icon #3 Posted by TrueBeliever 12 years ago
I have always wanted to meet some elephants, I have seen them of course at zoos and the circus. But I would like to visit them in their natural habitat. I think they are magnificent. i actually hate seeing them in circuses and zoos, makes me sad.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Hilander 12 years ago
I rode an elephant one time at the Little Rock Zoo. It only cost a buck and I thought this would probably be my only chance. It was fun, your so high up and they are so big.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Mistydawn 12 years ago
I love it when the all-knowing Scientists discover things like animals have personalities....
Comment icon #6 Posted by Eldorado 12 years ago
They usually don't turn into giant psychos until they have been around us for a while. There have been elephant serial-killers in the past! The Torso-in-the-Trunk Killer and Babar the Butcher to name just two.
Comment icon #7 Posted by lightly 12 years ago
and we've all met this type..
Comment icon #8 Posted by your_dark_passenger 12 years ago
I have always wanted to meet some elephants, I have seen them of course at zoos and the circus. But I would like to visit them in their natural habitat. I think they are magnificent. i actually hate seeing them in circuses and zoos, makes me sad. Here are 2 photos that I clicked of a tusker in the wild.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Bling 12 years ago
I love elephants, I've stroked one and it felt amazing! Plus they make my bum look small
Comment icon #10 Posted by Sundew 12 years ago
I notice 'the giant psycho' is missing from the groupings. Hm. I was at an Elephant camp in Chang Mai, Thailand and got to ride one of the beasts. They are immensely powerful and can easily drag a huge log, cross a swift river, etc. A friend was at the camp at another time and noticed one elephant off on its own chained by one leg to a tree, it was stretching to try and get to the pile of bananas that they give the elephants as treats. Feeling sorry for the pachyderm, my friend went over and started feeding bananas out of hand, one after another. Just then one of the mahouts came running up ye... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Catz 12 years ago
I was at an Elephant camp in Chang Mai, Thailand and got to ride one of the beasts. They are immensely powerful and can easily drag a huge log, cross a swift river, etc. A friend was at the camp at another time and noticed one elephant off on its own chained by one leg to a tree, it was stretching to try and get to the pile of bananas that they give the elephants as treats. Feeling sorry for the pachyderm, my friend went over and started feeding bananas out of hand, one after another. Just then one of the mahouts came running up yelling, "Get away from that elephant, it has killed four people!... [More]


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