A sudden cessation of all movement by an individual or group of individuals, holding stock-still, apparently Listening or perhaps feeling distant vibrations. Individuals may begin very slow moving of the head from one side to another - Head-Swinging - presumably to localise sound. When concerned about predators elephants may hold motionless, other than Head-Swinging, for a period of 5-60 seconds, when they are presumably using all of their senses to locate the source of disturbance. Freezing is most often initiated by an older member of the group. Others follow her/his lead, even if she or he might be bringing up the rear of the group.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: ch 6; Moss 1988; Langbauer et al. 1989; Poole & Granli 2003; O´Connell-Rodwell et al 2006; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Chin-Up, Ear-Spreading, Ears-Stiff, Head-Swinging, J-Trunk and occurs in the following context(s): Attentive, Vigilance


Context: Attentive (1)

Two males are walking across an open plain. They suddenly simultaneously and Freeze, Listening for some time and then proceed. The younger male begins walking again first and the older male follows. Several fades are used to reduce the length of the clip. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)