And the elephant goes .... beeeee!?
This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.
And an update on elephant language.
African elephants hate African bees. They turn-tail and flee at the mere sound of the
Meet Lucy King, from the University of Oxford. Using a wireless speaker hidden in a fake tree, she broadcast a recording of disturbed bees to elephant families in Kenya. The goliaths ran from the speaker, shaking their heads and tossing dust in the air--as if fending off attacking insects. However, they also made a distinct rumbling sound unlike any other elephant vocalization.
When King recorded it and played it to other herds? The pachyderms panicked! ... showing the exact same ear-flapping, dirt-chucking retreat--with no bees or other alarmed-looking animals in sight.
In other elephant words, the rumble means "Bees! RUN!"
Makes sense. Charging and trumpeting a bee, the way they would a lion, would be silly. There's
little one can do but grumble--and tell others to flee.
Now if they'd only develop a new phrase, like “STOP STEALING OUR TUSKS!” We can only hope.
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