Too reasonable: why elephants behave like humans

© RIA Novosti / Yuri to Sombrerete in fotobanka in Kafue National ParkToo reasonable: why elephants behave like humans© RIA Novosti / Yuri to Sombrerete in Photobacterium to daily updates RIA Science

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People and elephants have coexisted for many tens of thousands of years. Due to climate change and intensive destruction of these large, intelligent animals have survived only in Africa and Asia. Some features of their behavior — for example, respect for deceased relatives, is unique. From whom came the elephants and why they inspire respect in the material RIA Novosti.

Capable of genuine feelings

Old Eleanor suddenly collapsed. Walked close comrade tried to lift her, but she could no longer stand on his feet and the next day died. Mourning lasted almost a week.

It happened in October 2003 in Samburu national Park in Kenya among elephants living there. Scientists, observing animals from the air and using the GPS, noted that the first to help a fallen elephant came quite alien elephant. Her own family was two miles from this place. For several days the deceased was visiting close relatives and members of other herds, sniffed, touched.

Mutual aid characteristic of elephants. Scientists believe that this is proof of their intelligence. It is believed that elephants understand relatives, worry about them. Himself, by the way, they also realize.

Scientists conduct this test: put a mirror and allow the animals to look, then draw the markings on the face, and if the individual is seeing themselves in the mirror, trying to touch this mark, it means that he or she learned. Elephants pass this test successfully. In addition to them, it can only apes and humans.

Elephants have well developed hearing. They recognize the call at a distance of half a kilometer. And distinguish up to a hundred different voices of relatives on the slightest of acoustic vibrations.

For fragrant labels elephants identificeret another individual, even if the last time she met ten years ago. Males studying the urine of females with flamina typical retraction of a liquid with the lips. Taken to test is sent in the vomeronasal organ, where it is analyzed. Mature elephants can remember the smell of the mother for decades and thus avoid inbreeding.

If necessary, elephants use tools. Even Darwin described how they distilled the branches of the flies. Scratched with sticks, throwing stones at rodents, competing with them for the fruits under the trees. But to pick up throw them over the bridge the rope to get the food, you can’t. Do not guess to take a stick to knock off the platform food, if you can’t get her trunk. In General, the cognitive abilities of elephants is clearly inferior to the chimpanzee and people. They are not very good binocular vision and, apparently, low vigilance.

But elephants live in families almost like we. The herd was comprised only of females of different ages, which together raise young. Mature males are expelled from the family and live independently or gather in male groups.

Recognizable features of the behavior, large size and life expectancy in nature to 70 years of age, a long period of raising offspring — it makes you want to anthropomorphize the elephants. No wonder the people of Nuer in South Africa considers elephant as an individual, his death equate to the death of a person. Nuer believe that people and elephants — a family and with Pets there is a mystical connection. Humanization of an elephant led to the emergence of the taboo on eating its meat in some traditional societies.

And scientists themselves susceptible to this: they have invented a science that studies the relationship between people and elephants — tolerantly.

Adapted to life in the cold mastodons and woolly mammoths became extinct with the end of the ice age. That was the cause, climate change, disease, or active hunting of our ancestors, the researchers argue.

Elephants survived in Africa, where once again spread over Asia. There is a version that the African climate was more stable, and traditional society for thousands of years quite successfully coexisted with the local megafauna.

Elephants have the largest brain and the cortex of the brain among land animals. What is worse, they think, than chimps and humans, has long been a paradox. When the elephant’s brain was studied using tomography, it was found that the density of neurons in the cortex below, which means that the signal between brain cells is longer.

Maybe it’s the food. People and monkeys eat a lot of protein, high-calorie food and can quickly get a boost of energy. Elephants are more than half the time in the search for and consumption of low-calorie plant foods. Hence the need for a well developed long term memory to remember the routes.

Features of the brain also confirmed the long-known in paleontology the hypothesis that the land the elephants are descended from distant marine ancestors.

Too reasonable: why elephants behave like humans© Illustration RIA Novosti . Alina Polyanina, Depositphotos, СС0Увидеть mammoth: prehistoric animals will be able to clone