Streaming of secretion from the temporal glands of non-musth elephants. Temporin may be ephemeral or sustained and is more frequently observed among females. Many socially stimulating interactions within families are associated with the sudden onset of Temporin among adult females and, most often, their female offspring. These secretions may stream down the side of the face within seconds of the onset of the interaction. In these cases the onset of Temporin usually appears to be associated with vocalizing and typically dries within 10-15 minutes.

In East African populations, our observation is that sustained Temporin is more likely to be observed among females and when they are separated from their families or when individuals are disturbed. In these habitats Temporin is more frequently observed in the dry season, due, we believe to the fact that relatives are forced to split into smaller groups.

In Gorongosa, Mozambique, this pattern does not hold. Most elephants, no matter the age or sex, secrete from the temporal glands during both dry and wetter periods, and when they are in large and small groups. While the population is fearful and aggressive toward people, we do not believe that stress is the reason for the difference observed. Much more research is needed to understand the function of Temporin among elephants.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Moss 1981; Poole & Moss 1981; Moss 1988; Poole 1982: 61; Poole et al 1988; Poole 1996: 93, 137, 275; Payne 2003; Poole & Granli 2003; McComb et al. 2003; Poole & Granli 2011; [Streaming, Temporal-Gland-Secretion & (wrongly) Musth]. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Affiliative, Coalition Building, Conflict & Confrontation, Courtship, Social Play


Context: Affiliative (1)

Pat Derby, Ruby and others come together with a Purposeful-Walk. As they approach one another we hear deep Greeting-Rumbles and they begin Rapid-Ear-Flapping, A young female opens her mouth (Mouth-Open) and gives a loud Social Trumpet. Ruby (tuskless) is streaming with Temporin. The Rumbling continued as they move rapidly forward with Pat Derby in the lead. Pat Derby gives a loud Ear-Slap and as she turns we see that she, too, is streaming with Temporin.

As they come closer to the camera we hear more and very clear Greeting-Rumbles. Ruby pauses to Urinate and we see that in addition to Temporin she has Ear-Secretion. Pat Derby comes forward and stops to Listen, then she rumbles really loudly as if in response to someone she can hear. Ruby listens, too and we think we heard a distant call - several respond. All get Temporin even the calves though the adult females are really streaming.

A minute later they meet the others and there is a loud exchange but the filmmakers had car difficulties. We hear roaring and a social trumpet. We see later that the Greeting-Ceremony that the filmmakers missed is with Gina f0263 and others. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (2)

Nayanka steps forward with Periscope-Trunk. Her daughter Nastya has just been Mounted and the family was Rumbling. I believe this is why her mother has Temporin F-4. I say that Nastya is being Chased again and then Nayanka Head-Raises and gives a Contact-Rumble. There are two calls before her call and one after. I imagine that at least one of these is Nastya. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (3)

Grumpy Grandma, f0412, exhibits fresh Temporin after participating in a Greeting. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Social Play (1)

Three 18 month old males are playing and roughhousing. The male on the left gets fresh Temporin when engaged in Mounting and play behavior. His Temporin increases from level 0 to 2 over the course of a couple of minutes. The male on the right also get Temporin. It is unusual to see calves with Temporal Gland secretion and it is not clear whether it is related to their play or something else. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Social Play (2)

Two male calves about 18 months old have been engaged in a bout of Sparring after one woke the other up. Notice that the male on the left has no Temporin on his left side but Fresh 3 Temporin streaming down his face on the right. Notice, too, that he uses his trunk to self check the status of his Temporin on both sides. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Conflict & Confrontation (1)

Note: Powerful elephant calls! Little E is one month old. As the clip starts he is seen being looked after by allomothers V-Notch and Lorato. He becomes curious about the filmmakers car and walks toward it. V-notch who is ahead becomes alarmed and turns back to protect him Ear-Spreading and briefly Trunk-Sucking. Little E rushes past them to the car. Bob says softly "Hey, Little E" as he (we believe) touches the car. The two aunties freak out and give a series of Trumpet-Blasts.

Little E is alarmed - caught between his noisy aunties and the car. He is too close to see what is happening, but we can see him Tail-Raising and see the feet of his allomothers moving back and forth. His mother, Mama Little E, rushes over to join the allomothers and manages to retrieve him. They all Shepherd him back to safety, Backing-Away while Standing-Tall and his mother uses her trunk to gently move him away.

We can see that they get Temporin. They rumble and Bunching around Little E with Mama Little E and V-Notch on either side and Lorato Sashaying in to fill in the gap between Little E and the vehicle. They continue to Back-Away and then when Little E tries to suckle his mother uses her trunk to purposefully lead his mouth to her breast (Trunk-to-Infant-at-Breast). Lorato Head-Shakes. Then they walk away past the car. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Courtship (1)

Pascal is in musth and Amparo is in estrus and they are in Consort. This is the 4th day that she is in estrus and she is at her peak. At the start of the clip we see Pascal Reaching-Over her and Resting-Head on her while Amparo cooperates and shows she is ready by Backing-Toward him. She Stands-to-Mate. Pascal steps back and forth shifting his weight from one foot to the other as he prepares to lift himself onto his hind legs and Dram Rumbles again. Pascal mounts and appears to achieve intromission on the 5th thrust. As he enters her he raises up and we can see that Amparo appears to be lifted up by his penis - we see her Kick-Back with first one leg and then the other as she seems to be almost standing on her toes - her hind legs out-stretched.

Pascal remains inside her for 29 seconds and the other males mill around them. As he begins to dismount we hear the Open-Mouth Rumbling starts in earnest - first by tuskless Dram and then Amparo begins her Open-Mouthed Estrus-Rumbling. She stands Tail-Raising and calling with temporal glands streaming with a wide stream of Temporin reaching her lower jaw. She has had Temporin each day of her estrus though not as much as on this day. (Amboseli, Kenya)