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Archive for November, 2009

Elephants Never Forget

                                                “AKA – You Go Girls!”

It’s true.

Scientists have backed the old adage, saying it’s particularly true in the case of matriarchs, who lead the herd. A study of wild African elephants revealed that dominant females build up a social memory as they get older, allowing them to recognize ‘friendly faces.’

According to the journal Science, the females’ role is to signal others about whether an outsider is either a friend or enemy. This allows family members to focus on feeding and breeding without danger.

Males, on the other hand, leave family units early and remain single or in small bachelor groups.

Whether male or female, more often than not elephants travel long distances to search for food – and the most typical groups of elephants consist of a matriarch grandmother, her daughters and granddaughters. In fact, the older matriarchs are better at picking out ‘strangers,’ which allows the herd to spend more time breeding and relaxing. And, anything that removes the grandmother from the family – such as poaching – would have a significant effect on reproduction.

Finally, whether male or female, elephants have a high friendship level with humans, and also develop long-term relationships with others. In fact, they remember humans and their own species even when separated for decades.

I’m particularly excited about the finding that elephant memory is fact, not fiction.

That’s because a friend recently gave me a beautiful jeweled elephant – about two inches high and 1 ½ includes long. When you pull up the trunk there’s a little round space where you can store rings and other small items.

I don’t use it for that, however. If elephants have so much memory, I’m going to leave my elephant closed as much as possible so I can savor and grow the ‘memory bank’ each day.   

So, if you’re having trouble remembering things, take a trip to a zoo – or, even better – buy an elephant as a family pet.  🙂

NOTE:

Twenty years after an international treaty banning the trade of ivory, ivory smuggling still is alive and well in Africa. This has led to huge slaughters of these wonderful, ‘brainy’ animals, as well as leaving elephants to face extinction in the wild because of habitat loss and poaching. If you’re interested in learning more, go to: http://www.ehow.com/how_2073581_save-endangered-african-elephants.html

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