An individual taking short, shallow steps and purposefully dragging or scuffing the soles of the feet on the ground to create sound. Foot-Scuffing is often used by musth males at close range. Together with visual, vocal and chemical signals, the approaching scuffing steps adds to the male’s ominous display. In a Social Play context, Foot-Scuffing may be employed by Charging youngsters. In an Attacking & Mobbing context Foot-Scuffing may be employed by Charging adults, again for the audible effect.

References: Poole & Granli 2021. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Aggressive, Attacking & Mobbing, Conflict & Confrontation, Social Play


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (1)

Pascal is in full musth and has spend the last 15 minutes engaging in various musth displays. Now he walks toward us in a Casual-Stance. Note his stiff-legged Foot-Scuffing, purposefully making sounds as a threat. Notice, too, his Kick-Dust movement as the end of his scuffing. He pauses at the water's edge and engages in Trunk-Curl. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (2)

Pascal is in musth and is mud-splashing and drinking. As he leaves the water hole he walks with slight Foot-Scuffing (Note the way his left front leg is stiffened) and he Trunk-Drags, Ear-Waves and Musth-Rumbles at us. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Attacking & Mobbing (3)

Pascal is in full musth. He has been Listening and Musth-Rumbling in and beside a water hole. Now he has begun feeding. He keeps pausing in his feeding to Listen.

In this clip he pauses to Listen, takes another trunkful and then walks forward Foot-Scuffing, Trunk-Tragging, and then Musth-Rumbles and Ear-Waves. We know, in retrospect, that he is about to meet musth male Emo and likely knows Emo is close by. (Amboseli, Kenya)