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The Amboseli ElephantsA Long-Term Perspective on a Long-Lived Mammal$
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Cynthia J. Moss, Harvey Croze, and Phyllis C. Lee

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226542232

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226542263.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

Female Social Dynamics: Fidelity and Flexibility

Female Social Dynamics: Fidelity and Flexibility

Chapter:
(p.205) Chapter 13 Female Social Dynamics: Fidelity and Flexibility
Source:
The Amboseli Elephants
Author(s):

Cynthia J. Moss

Phyllis C. Lee

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226542263.003.0013

This chapter, which describes female elephant social organization and dynamics at the individual, family, and bond group levels in the Amboseli population, examines both the consistency and changes that have occurred over a period of 30 years. By analyzing association and grouping patterns among female elephants, it demonstrates the nature of the flexible fission–fusion society that allows for individual responses to environmental, demographic, and social conditions. Although many of these responses are based on costs and benefits for the individual, the social responses of elephants are far more complex than those predicted by a simple cost-benefit analysis at a single point in time. Females make social decisions over long periods of time as well as responding to social and ecological opportunities and conditions on a day-to-day and even an hour-to-hour basis.

Keywords:   female elephant, social organization, fidelity, grouping pattern, social conditions, social decision

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