Elephants are mammals that have huge personalities to go along with their enormous body size. The actions and behaviors of these creatures have a lot to do with the individual, and that goes for both African of Asian elephants. Here, we are going to talk about the social behaviors of Asian elephants.
According to the website seaword.org, elephants have a very complex social system that varies by gender and age. Adult females form a matriarchal society, while adult males are usually solitary by nature.
Males leave the family unit between ages 12 and 15 years old. Some bulls, which are adult male elephants, associate and travel with a small group of other bulls. Having leaders that are determined by age and strength, bulls that live together have a hierarchy style society. The leaders protect the front and rear of the herd. Not every bull wishes to be a leader, though, and the positions are re-evaluated whenever a bull leaves or joins the herd.
Female herds can consist of anywhere from three of twenty-five individuals. The herds can have three or four generations at one time.
Elephants have a very special mourning behavior. When a herd passes the remains of another elephant, a moment of silence is taken as each elephant touches the bones with their trunks. Sometimes, a tusk or bone will be carried with them as they continue traveling.
Elephants have been know to show very intelligent behavior. This height of intelligence has only been seen in humans, dolphins, and chimpanzees. For example, elephants recognize themselves in a mirror, which shows that they know that such images are themselves and not just another elephant. As seen on livescience.com, for a test in Thailand, a pair of elephants were placed on one side of a rope. They had to pull the rope to slide a table with a bucket of corn into their reach. First, they pulled the rope one at a time. When they realized that didn’t work, they tried pulling the rope at the same time, resulting in success. This experiment showed that elephants can not only cooperate, but they actually understand what cooperation is. This means that elephants cooperate to achieve goals and obstacles in the wild as well. Many different elephant pairs were tested, which showed their own personalities as well. One female stepped on the rope to keep it from slipping, while her partner did the work to get to the table. Another female waited for her partner to go to the rope, then she approached it second.
Elephants have many social behaviors that are different from many other animals. I hope now that you understand the complex minds and ways of Asian elephants.