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The Elephant Ethogram is a library of African savanna elephant behavior. It consists of written descriptions, video exemplars, photographic illustrations and, where relevant, audio recordings, of each of over 350 behaviors. You’ll find over 2,500 media files within the fully searchable Elephant Ethogram database, including approximately 2,000 video clips.

Why an Elephant Ethogram

The Elephant Ethogram is a unique source of information about the behavior and communication of African elephants. The Ethogram is based on decades of behavioral study, our own photographs and audio and video recordings, as well as professional footage made available by others. The Elephant Ethogram provides a baseline dataset of elephant behaviors for other studies, and a comprehensive source of educational material and inspiration for all.

What is an Ethogram?

An ethogram is a comprehensive list, inventory, catalogue or description of the behaviors or actions exhibited by a species. It is a library or master list of all known behaviors for a species that describes the characteristics and function of each behavior. The word ethogram comes from the words “etho” - meaning the characteristic and distinguishing attitudes, habits, beliefs, etc. of an individual or of a group, and “gram” meaning to write down or record.

The Elephant Ethogram media files

Each video in The Elephant Ethogram is labeled with the behavior it is intended to illustrate. To help you focus your attention on the correct indivual or body part circles may appear briefly at the start of a particular behavior. In cases where the change in behavior is very subtle, such as Listening, closed circles will appear next to the label as the behavior begins and remain until the behavior ends.

You will together with most behaviors also find field recordings of elephant calls. As with the videos, field notes and descriptions related to each call is included. The name of the elephant(s) recorded is often included.

Together with the description of each behavior you will most often find a photo related to that particular behavior. Some behaviors are better explained with a photo rather than a video - certain behavior is also very difficult to get on film.


About the footage, not all great, but included to the behavior. video to come later