A series of modulated and, typically overlapping, or ‘chorused’ tonal rumbles, given by female elephants in response to the arrival of a musth male. Component Rumbles last 3.2-5.7 seconds in duration. Adult and juvenile females join in the Rumbling chorus that may also include Snorting, Trumpeting and, occasionally, Roaring. We refer to this pattern of calling to a musth male as a Female-Chorus.

Females may also engage in Female-Chorus-Rumbling when a family member is tested by a musth male, or in response to hearing a Musth-Rumble, and may even call upon locating the scent-trail of a musth male. When females call in these contexts they often Urinate, Defecate and secrete Temporin from their temporal glands. When females are highly aroused, their chorused calls can include powerful and throaty rumbles.

References: Poole 1982: 37; Poole et al 1988; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Courtship


Context: Courtship (1)

Pascal is in musth and is with two estrous females. Amparo, with whom he has just Mated, is ahead of him, and Miranda is following him. Another musth male is near to Amparo. We hear and see Pascal Musth-Rumbles and Ear-Waves, perhaps as a threat to this male, or to Amparo, and Miranda immediately calls (likely Female-Chorus) overlapping with his call. We can see her Ear-Lifting and Head-Raising.

Pascal stands Listening and then adopts a Periscope-Trunk, presumably sniffing the air ahead of him. Amparo calls - we believe an Estrous-Rumble and Pascal lifts his head and Musth-Rumbles and Ear-Waves. The camera pans left in the middle of his call to reveal Amparo and Qapella calling together Tusk-Clanking and reaching Trunk-to-Mouth. We guess that this is another Estrous-Rumble or Female-Chorusing. Pascal immediately joins in, his Musth-Rumble overlapping with theirs and another closer voice is likely Miranda. Pascal walks over to Amparo to continue Guarding her. (Amboseli, Kenya)