ele-phants...

Discussion in 'Bee News' started by tecumseh, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    [TD]a bit of a note sent to me by my wife....
    Bee Threat Elicits Alarm Call in African Elephants 2010Author(s): King, LE (King, Lucy E.)1,3; Soltis, J (Soltis, Joseph)2; Douglas-Hamilton, I (Douglas-Hamilton, Iain)1,3; Savage, A (Savage, Anne)2; Vollrath, F (Vollrath, Fritz)1,3Source: PLOS ONE Volume: 5 Issue: 4 Article Number: e10346 DOI:

    Abstract: Unlike the smaller and more vulnerable mammals, African elephants have relatively few predators that threaten their survival. The sound of disturbed African honeybees Apis meliffera scutellata causes African elephants Loxodonta africana to retreat and produce warning vocalizations that lead other elephants to join the flight. In our first experiment, audio playbacks of bee sounds induced elephants to retreat and elicited more head-shaking and dusting, reactive behaviors that may prevent bee stings, compared to white noise control playbacks. Most importantly, elephants produced distinctive "rumble" vocalizations in response to bee sounds. These rumbles exhibited an upward shift in the second formant location, which implies active vocal tract modulation, compared to rumbles made in response to white noise playbacks. In a second experiment, audio playbacks of these rumbles produced in response to bees elicited increased headshaking, and further and faster retreat behavior in other elephants, compared to control rumble playbacks with lower second formant frequencies. These responses to the bee rumble stimuli occurred in the absence of any bees or bee sounds. This suggests that these elephant rumbles may function as referential signals, in which a formant frequency shift alerts nearby elephants about an external threat, in this case, the threat of bees.[/TD]
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  2. Walt B

    Walt B New Member

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    Golly gumpers, tec. If an elephant can't handle them, what chance do we have?

    I'm surprised there's anybody alive down where you are. :wink:

    Walt
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    wow....
    tecumseh, if i may ask, what does your wife do?
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    My wife teaches Ethology or Animal Behavior. Long ago (long before I knew her) she worked several summers (as a goose girl... actually more accurately described as a surrogate goose mom) with one of the fellows that won the Nobel with the bee dance fellow.

    it is kind of odd ain't it Walt that such a large creature would be so obviously unhinged by such a small and insignificant creature.

    after reading the short abstract I did wonder if the sound of the other 'races' of bees would produce the same response or is this response only produced from the sound of 'scutellata'?
     
  5. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    An interesting abstract.

    Does this mean I have to stop doing the Johnny Weissmuller call as I swing through the trees ? :grin:
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    tecumseh:
    "My wife teaches Ethology or Animal Behavior. Long ago (long before I knew her) she worked several summers (as a goose girl... actually more accurately described as a surrogate goose mom) with one of the fellows that won the Nobel with the bee dance fellow."

    thanks tecumseh, i had to look up 'the other guy', konrad lorenz? and of course karl von frisch who wrote about bee dance. i have a friend who is a professor at the university of minnesota who is a behavioral ecologist, i think i have this right, but studies and teaches the evolution of animal behavior and does experimental work. he has done some work for dr. marla spivak. i have been to his lab, and her lab a number of times, but am fascinated by his studies and work.

    amazing about the elephants and your question " I did wonder if the sound of the other 'races' of bees would produce the same response or is this response only produced from the sound of 'scutellata'? "
     
  7. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    How do the elephants tune into the internet to get bee advice in the first place?:lol: