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African Elephants

Kids and dogs have a reputation for shrewdly sizing up strangers. Well, you can add elephants to that list. Scientists at St. Andrews University say African elephants can distinguish threats of danger posed by different people. A recent study concludes pachyderms know a predator by scent and the color of their clothes.

Members of the Maasai Kingdoms  primarily wear red and spear African elephants as a show of manliness. Researchers documented the elephants responding fearfully when they detected the scent of garments worn by Maasai warriors.

The traditional red clothing also provoked an aggressive response from elephants; whereas, the animals showed a much milder reaction to the clothing worn by the Kamba people. The Kamba tend to be farmers.    Researchers say elephants associated the color red with Maasai people.

This research is currently published on the web at Current Biology .

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7 thoughts on “Elephants do Remember

  1. This is AWESOME! However, it is not correct to use the word tribe when referring to the Maasai peoples, and many other cultural/ethnic groups in Africa. The term is not relevant to much of Africa’s political makeup (i.e. most African communities are chiefdoms, states, kingdoms, etc.) Tribe has negative connotations like “primitive” or “savage” that separate these people socially and hierarchically from the rest of the world. Tribe is an old-world way of describing “lesser” peoples and should not be used today as it is very offensive. But, this summary is excellent! :) Thank you for it!

  2. Native American tribes are going to be upset with this news. The tribal leaders will need to adress this and what to call the tribal lands.. PC is such a bitch! Can we still say Red Stick?

  3. Ha Ha Ha! Guess I should have made that plural. While reading the Wiki entry for Sam Houston the refered to his war contact with “Red Sticks”. These were Creeks fighting for the Brits during the Indian Wars about 1811. Hogs? When Huckabee gets over 500lbs. we can properly call him a hog.

  4. Pingback: Masaj | dajana & co. -

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