An Elephants Memory

In a top of intelligence, humans are followed by apes, elephants and dolphins. The elephant brain is denser than the human’s, and the temporal lobes, associated to memory, are more developed than in humans.

Elephant’s lobes also have more foldings, so that they can store more information. That’s why elephants have excellent memory.

But why? Elephants can recognize over 200 different individuals. This is essential, as females depend on one another for raising the young, more than in the case of other mammals. A mother can remember who is trustful and complex bounds are the bricks of elephants’ society, while the memory is the cement. When two elephants approach one another, they emit a “contact appeal”: if the other recognizes the appeal, it responds and approaches; if not, it starts to agitate and adopts a defensive position. This capacity of recognition lasts a very long time, even after one individual is dead: even the recording of a dead animal attracted the attention of its relatives and descendants.

The group life allows the elephants to raise their young together. A female gives birth, in the best case, to one young every 4 years, and this one will be well cared.

In critical moments, the family stand on the experience of the oldest and wisest female in the group, called matriarch. She controls the daily activity of the herd and leads the family in areas outside the normal domain. Now, her remarkable memory is employed. She will remember where to go during drought periods and what to do in case of danger, as she already passed through these situations, and the older she is, the more effective she is. Her death is tragic for the group, and poachers usually target her, as she possesses the largest tusks in the herd of females.

Some consider elephants to posses consciousness: they have emotions and feelings one for another. The way how they behave with the body of a dead elephant seems to confirm this. It’s like they would understand death. They turn the bones and examine each crack, like wanting to wake up a sleeping baby

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