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Social and reproductive behaviour in elephants

Vidya, TNC and Sukumar, R (2005) Social and reproductive behaviour in elephants. In: Current Science, 89 (7). pp. 1200-1207.


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We present a review of studies on elephant social and reproductive behaviour. While the social organization of the African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) has been intensively studied,that of the African forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) are poorly understood. Noninvasive molecular methods are useful in combination with behavioural data in understanding social organization and dispersal strategies. The ecological determinants of social organization, and the importance of matriarchal leadership to social groups, and relative importance of different forms of communication under various ecological conditions remain interesting topics that await investigation. Reproductive behaviour also has been examined in detail only in the African savannah elephant, although rigorous chemical analyses continue to be carried out using captive elephants of both species. Improved laboratory techniques may enable future work on reproductive signalling in free-ranging elephants, allowing for comprehensive studies of male-male interactions and mate choice by females.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences.
Keywords: Acoustic communication;dispersal;Elephas maximus;Loxodonta africana;musth;social organization
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: B.S Priyanka
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2005
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:21
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/4200

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