Standing or moving with head held well above shoulders, chin tucked in (Chin-In), so that the elephant looks squarely at its adversary with ears and tusks held more perpendicular to the ground. Typically, the ears are maximally forward (Ear-Spreading). This posture is used primarily to threaten other elephants, particularly by males in musth.

References: Eisenberg, McKay & Jainudeen 1971; Poole 1982: 77 & illustration 4.7, Moss 1983; Poole 1987a; Poole 1987b; Poole 1987c; Poole 1988; Poole 1992; Poole 1996: 75, 77; Poole 1997; Poole & Granli 2003; O’Connell-Rodwell et al 2011 [Head held up]. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Aggressive, Submissive


Context: Submissive (1)

Leroy meets a group of elephants heading to Lenkolong. There is another large male in the group and Leroy faces him Head-High and Ears-Folded. Although the male appears smaller with much shorter tusks, Leroy is afraid and Orients-Away and Retreats-From. During all the weeks that we worked in this area of the park Leroy kept to himself, avoiding other elephants and seeming fearful of other males and we wondered why. (Amboseli, Kenya)