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: Attacking & Mobbing (1)

A group of elephants is feeding around a lugga when all are surprised by a warthog running past. A pulsating rumble is made by the tuskless female while running. A calf is in the lugga and several females are running to rescue it. There is a lot of rumbling and listening.

An adolescent male Redirects-Aggression and turns and Charge at the vehicle while Foot-Scuffing and giving a Snort (attempt at Trumpet-Blast) for added effect. Then he displays Standing-Tall and Ear-Spreading. Notice that when he Charges he touches himself on his face (Touch-Self) as if slightly Apprehensive. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)