They also assist cows to notify bulls that they are available for mating. Because females are selective about the bull with whom they will mate, notifying a broader spectrum of male elephants allows her more choice to ensure that her calf is as strong and healthy as possible. The male also needs to emit a sound that informs all other bulls in the area that she is no longer available for mating. It is a warning for them to stay away as bulls that are in breeding state, or musth, are aggressive. After the act of mating is complete, the female emits a series of 6 grunts, repeating this for up to 30 minutes.
NON VOCAL CALLS
Humans use body language to convey messages that transcend verbal communication. Elephants also use non vocal calls to convey information. When groups of elephants pass each other, the members of the groups touch and caress each other amicably with their trunks, and smelling one another. By staying in physical contact, this type of exchange ensures that bonds among individuals, herds and groups remain strong.
The trunk is an integral part of non vocal communication. Elephants use it to fondle and smell other elephants and objects. For instance, when a group of elephants stumble on the carcass of another, they will explore and smell the bones with their trunks. This act serves as sign of mourning and regret over the loss of the deceased, even when that one did not belong to the particular herd.
A unique method of non vocal communication is the vibration emitted through the soft feet-pads of these gentle giants. Another interesting method of communication is the 'freezing' of several animals at the same time. When elephants sense stimuli that may assist in their safety and well-being, they will freeze, alerting others to the possibility of danger.
Elephants are unique in so many ways, but their capacity to communicate and the innovative ways in which they do incites an even greater sense of intrigue and respect for these very special animals.