In a movement reminiscent of breaching in whales, an elephant draws its head and chest up out of the water into a vertical position (as if sitting), and then, while raising the trunk over the head and leaning back, allows the body to splash backwards or sideways into the water and submerges such that the head and/or entire body is completely below the surface of an area of water.

References: Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Lone & Object Play, Social Play


Context: Social Play (1)

A mother with a newborn and two juvenile females are playing in a pool with other elephants in the background. The female on the right rears up and then splashes into the water and submerges under the surface. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Social Play (2)

Two males are playing, one in a water hole and one standing on the bank. The male on the bank looks a little skeptical. The male in the water Blows-Bubbles and then raises his head up, splashes his trunk down and then with his head and trunk raised out of the water he grasps the tusk of the other male and gives a little Tusking movement. Then he collapses back into the water with a Splash-Submerge. The male on the bank walks off. (Amboseli, Kenya)