Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Elephants never forget old friends and are social network experts


Social networking: The research was carried out into the relationships between Asian elephants

When it comes to relationships, it seems some elephants never forget.

The Asian variety remember old pals and have larger social networks of ‘friends’ than scientists previously thought, a study has shown.

Researchers also found that just like humans, some elephants are social butterflies while others prefer to stick to a close-knit group of friends.

Memorable: It would seem Asian elephants never forget a face when it comes to their friends

Past studies suggested elephants usually live in small groups centred around females and their young while adult males live independently.

However, the study found that though males do live apart, females and their young actually have the sort of complex network of friends, relatives and acquaintances normally seen in humans.

Study author Dr Shermin de Silva from the University of Pennsylvania said: ‘Elephants are able to track one another over large distances by calling to each other and using their sense of smell.

‘So the “herd” of elephants one sees at any given time is often only a fragment of a much larger social group.

‘Our work shows that they are able recognize their friends and renew these bonds even after being apart for a long time.’

source: dailymail

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