Adult females (or very rarely adult males) engaging in a highly coordinated action against another elephant, group of elephants, human adversaries or other predator. Among females Coalitions are initiated with much dramatic behavior and physical movement such as Trunk-Sweep, Purposeful-Walk that appears to function as a ‘heads-up’ and to galvanise and guide the action, timing and direction of others in the group. As the elephants Bunch together they exhibit Head-Raising, Head-Swinging, Vocalizing, Rapid-Ear-Flapping and Ears-Stiff. The initiating individual(s) may approach their companion(s) rapidly coming along side her/them in parallel or face-to-face; they may Vocalise in chorus, sometimes Tusk-Clicking together, reaching into one another’s mouths (Reciprocal-Trunk-to-Mouth), or intertwining trunks (Trunk-Twining) raised in a High-Five. Then, in unison, they turn on the affronting individual in a Group-Advance or Group-Charge.
In Coalitions against another group of elephants, it is typically an older female, often the matriarch, initiating the coming to aid of a younger family member who may have been kidnapped or attacked. Likewise, Coalitions against human threats or predators are typically initiated by an older female, often the matriarch. Younger family members participate, but are not lead players. Among males an older male may assist a younger male in a coalition against another male.
References: Poole et al. 1988; Poole 1994a; 1996: 145; Bates et al 2008; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli, 2011. (Full reference list)
This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Ears-Stiff, Head-Raising, Head-Swinging, Look-Back, Open-Mouth, Open-Mouth-to-Open-Mouth, Periscope-Trunk, Rapid-Ear-Flapping, Reach-Touch, Sashay, Tail-Raising, Temporin, Trumpet-Blast, Trunk-Sweep, Trunk-to-Mouth, Trunk-Twining, Tusk-Clank, Rumble and occurs in the following context(s): Aggressive, Coalition Building