As performed by a musth male, raising and lowering the head or lifting and swinging head and trunk with vigor, sometimes in figure-of-eight movement. This display is occasionally seen in combination with a Trunk-Curl. In its most intense form the musth male bends his back legs and lowers the hind portion of his body causing the head and trunk to be raised even higher. Less exaggerated forms may be observed in non-musth elephants.

References: Poole 1982: 51; Poole 1987a; Kahl & Armstrong 2002; Poole & Granli 2003; [Head Oscillation]. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Foraging & Comfort Technique


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (1)

Pascal is in full musth. He has been in this water hole Listening, Drinking, Musth-Rumbling and Ear-Waving. He has just Tusk-Ground as he stands Listening, ready to get out. As he steps up out of the water hole he Musth-Rumbles, and Ear-Waves again and engages in a gentle Head-Toss. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (2)

Pascal is in full musth. He has been Listening and Musth-Rumbling in and beside a water hole and while feeding on grass. In this clip he begins to walk, Trunk-Dragging and Musth-Rumbles and Ear-Waves. He reaches his Trunk-Toward and sniffs the air. Then he raises it to a Periscope-Trunk.

We know, in retrospect, that he is about to meet musth male Emo and likely knows Emo is close by. We are so focused on Pascal that we don't see Emo coming! After Periscope-Trunk he drops his trunk over his temporal glands in a half-hearted Head-Toss and then lets it fall onto his tusk in a Casual-Stance. He pivots 90 degrees and begins a more pronounced Musth-Walk. He has seen Emo. (Amboseli, Kenya)