Researchers Discover The Four Personality Types Of Elephants

Animals have distinct personality types, the Telegraph reveals

In a new study of African elephants, researchers have identified four distinct characters that are prevalent with a herd – the leaders, the gentle giants, the playful rogues and the reliable plodders. Each of the types has developed to help the giant mammals survive in their harsh environment and are almost unique in the animal kingdom, according to the scientists.

Professor Lee and her colleague Cynthia Moss studied a herd of elephants in the Amboseli National Park in Kenya known as the EB family – famous for their matriarch Echo before she died in 2009. Using data collected over 38 years of watching this group, the researchers analysed them for 26 types of behaviour and found four personality traits tended to come to the fore.

The strongest personality to emerge was that of the leader. The researchers looked for those elephants that tended to influence the movements and direction of the group. Unlike other animals, where leadership tends to be won by the most dominant and aggressive individual, the elephants instead respected intelligence and problem solving in their leader.

3 Comments on "Researchers Discover The Four Personality Types Of Elephants"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Nov 3, 2012 at 10:50 am |

    Yes–but can they give them tourette’s by hooking their medula oblongatas up to a car battery?

    • bobbiethejean | Nov 4, 2012 at 11:11 am |

      WE MUST TEST THIS. I wonder what elephant Tourette’s would sound like. A Jazz band gone awry?

      • Calypso_1 | Nov 4, 2012 at 11:42 am |

        The vocal tics might indeed be interesting…the motor tics not so much, at least if you were in the immediate viscinity.

        For a human protocol direct current stimulation is a different technique and would only require a 9v and stimulation no more than 2 mA. It has been used in ways similar to TMS but I am not aware of any specific use related to Tourette’s studies.

        I do not feel qualified to extrapolate any such technique for pachyderms.

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