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A Little Ele-Fun for your Tuesday

In this short 3-minute clip, Joyce Poole explores how elephants communicate through play. Here are few quotes from the full article from National Geographic (read more about the nine overarching vategories that Joyce Poole and Petter Granli have categorized to decode elephant gestures HERE)

Elephants may use a variety of subtle movements and gestures to communicate with one another, according to researchers who have studied the big mammals in the wild for decades. To the casual human observer, a curl of the trunk, a step backward, or a fold of the ear may not have meaning. But to an elephant—and scientists like Joyce Poole—these are signals that convey vital information to individual elephants and the overall herd….

Sense of Humor

Poole recalls how elephants at play used to charge her car, appearing to trip and fall while tusking the ground (tusk-ground gesture) in front of her vehicle. “I used to think that they really did trip—no longer!” Poole said. “I have seen it enough times to know that pretending to fall over in front of the car is all part of the fun. It is one of the behaviors that led me to say that elephants have a sense of self and a sense of humor. They know that they are funny.”

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