A musth male swings the upper portion of the ear stiffly and vigorously forward and backward. The speed and forcefulness of the swinging causes the lower, unsupported portion of the pinnae to flap even further forward and backward and upward. The motion creates a wave appearance across the ear. Ear-Waving is typically associated with Musth-Rumbling and may serve to waft scent of Musth-Temporal-Gland-Secretion toward other elephants.
References: Poole 1982: 86; Poole 1987a: 294 drawing; Poole 1996: 122; Kahl & Armstrong 2002: 162 photo; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)
This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Aggressive