An elephant lying down on one side. An individual may engage in Lie-Down in the context of sleep or as an invitation to play. Immature elephants may Lie-Down to sleep at any time of the day or night, while older elephants are more likely to Lie-Down to sleep at night. In the context of play older female calves or juveniles will Lie-Down or Kneel-Down, encouraging younger individuals to climb on top, or Climb-Upon. 

References: Lee 1986; Moss 1988;  Poole 1996; Poole 1998b; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Maintenance, Social Play


Context: Social Play (1)

Three boys are having a game of gentle Sparring. The older male climbs onto a termite mound and Tusks-Ground as he is watched by a younger male. The older male challenges him to Spar but the younger male Backs-Away down the termite mound. The larger male then lowers himself and Lies-Down on his side while the younger two Spar.

The male who had Backed-Away sees the larger male down and goes to engage with him, climbing back up the mound, followed by his play partner. The larger male stands up on a lower level than the younger two. They consider one another for a while and then the older male Tusks-Ground. He lifts a clod of dirt with his tusks, brandishing it at the younger males as he crawls back up the mound. They Retreat-From and he collapses down on his belly and Head-Waggles. He shuffles around a bit on his "knees" before clambering to his feet. He Tusks-Ground again and then backs down the mound with another Head-Waggle. Kneel-Down is often seen when older males try to Spar with younger males. It would seem that they may try to make themselves appear smaller and less threatening. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Social Play (2)

Three males at play. The largest one Lies-Down and tries to interact with the younger males Reaching his trunk out to touch the younger male's tusk in a friendly gesture. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Social Play (3)

A medium sized male lies down on a mound after a night of rain. He has been playing with other males. (Amboseli, Kenya)