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Elephants transmit information through the ground

Researchers found out that animals use signals similar to seismic

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While using instruments intended to detection of earthquakes, Oxford scientists Bet Mortimer and Tarje Nissen-Meyer discovered that various kinds of elephants activities – walking, running, sniffing, grunting – сreate different seismic signals in the ground. According to the research published in Current biology magazine, in several cases these vibrations are distributing through the ground much longer than through the air enabling animals to feel each other even over long distances.

Study’s author Dr.Mortimer

Earlier studies demonstrated that elephants capture ground fluctuations by their body. For instance, elephants were noticed running away to the uplands in the moments preceding tsunami emergence. The elephant feeling a threat began to stomp in order to avert others. The study expands the understanding of how animals can communicate. Beside, it provides new possibilities for researchers and ecologists who would like to observe animals remotely. This method can be fruitful for the save the species. «This information can be used as a strategy of remote monitoring», – Dr.Mortimer said.

An African battalion struggling with poachers

Despite the international affords to prohibit trade of elephant bones tens of thousands of african elephants are proceeding to die because of their tusks every year.

In order to hold the study scientists established devices known as geophones near the place of living of Kenia wild elephants. Like seismographs geophones convert soil fluctuations into measurable electronic signals, yet they are better to use in field work. With the help of these instruments researchers will presumably be able to pursue and defend animals.

Elephants are able to recognize hooves and fluctuations of the herd over several kilometres distance

Due to the fact that elephants live in complicated and spatially divided communities, animals use long-range communication in order to survive. The ground vibrations can be used for warning each other of danger and for partners seeking during very short period of mating. Supposing that elephants not only bring on distinct vibrations in various activities but also are able to perceive these signals from huge distances, scientists are intending to learn how to use these signals.

Vibrations created by elephants can be found and recognized on almost four miles in optimal conditions. However, any noise impact, even automobile noise, sharply decreases the ability to find and recognize these vibrations.

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