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African elephants have expectations about the locations of out-of-sight family members.

, Bates LA, Sayialel KN, Njiraini NW, Poole JH, Moss CJ, Byrne RW. University of St Andrews

Monitoring the location of conspecifics may be important to social mammals. Here, we use an expectancy-violation paradigm to test the ability of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) to keep track of their social companions from olfactory cues. We presented elephants with samples of earth mixed with urine from female conspecifics that were either kin or unrelated to them, and either unexpected or highly predictable at that location.



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