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Calf Development and Maternal Rearing Strategies

Calf Development and Maternal Rearing Strategies

(p.224) Chapter 14 Calf Development and Maternal Rearing Strategies
The Amboseli Elephants
Phyllis C. LeeCynthia J. Moss
University of Chicago Press

This chapter describes normative elephant development and, by extension, the capacity for the modification of behavior or developmental plasticity as a function of individual experiences over a prolonged period. Specifically, it illustrates sex-specific developmental patterns over the first five years of life and discusses the social, developmental, and hormonal influences on sex differences. The chapter explores separately behavior with functions specific to the immature phase—juvenile specializations such as play—and behaviors that emerge and are built upon to form adult behavior, such as foraging skills. It speculates on the long-term consequences of behavioral development in relation to general elephant patterns of social and reproductive maturity.

Keywords:   developmental plasticity, calf development, rearing, sex differences, foraging skills, social maturity

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