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Behavioral Contexts of Elephant Acoustic Communication

Behavioral Contexts of Elephant Acoustic Communication

(p.125) Chapter 9 Behavioral Contexts of Elephant Acoustic Communication
The Amboseli Elephants
Joyce H. Poole
University of Chicago Press

This chapter, which builds upon an established body of work on elephant communication to examine the calls emitted by African elephants, Loxodonta africana, from the standpoint of social function, proposes several new call types. It describes a broad range of behavioral contexts and examines, qualitatively and quantitatively, the acoustic signals with which they are associated, making a first attempt to discriminate between proposed contextual call subtypes based on a number of acoustic measurements. The chapter then uses these and contextual differences to illustrate how vocal signals form an essential and integral component of the complex dynamics of elephant society. It begins by describing what is known about elephant acoustic communication and vocal repertoire, in general, and then examines in detail how elephants in Amboseli use acoustic signals in the context of their sociality.

Keywords:   elephant communication, African elephants, social function, acoustic signals, elephant society, elephant acoustic

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