Flapping the ears moderately loudly and then swishing them against the neck and shoulders causing a rasping sound. For added effect, the elephant may tilt its head upwards and outward, sometimes to one side, while swishing the ears against the body. Used by elephants of all age sex groups when changing activity and, particularly audibly by adult females during Movement Space and Leadership and Avoidance contexts apparently as a signal to other family members of intention to move, depart or to change activity.

References: Poole 1982: 73; Moss 1988; Poole 1996: 143; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Avoidance, Coalition Building, Movement, Space & Leadership


Context: Avoidance (1)

Members of the C family reacting to the arrival of a male in their group who is testing females. I am not sure who the male is. As he Advances-Toward gf0029 she gives an Ear-Slap and Orients-Away as she Head-Shakes. The male Flehmens and gf0029 and gf0030 seem to respond to his presence with a Female-Chorus (although this was filmed in slo-mo with no audio). As this clips starts they turn toward one another and then as a group going over to him. There is no sound, but can see Head-Raising, Ear-Lifting and Ear-Folding. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)