A mutual entwining of trunks. Trunk-Twining occurs in Social Play as a gentle contact form of Sparring, during which two elephants slowly and sinuously intertwine their trunks in a spiral. Trunk-Twining also occurs during Coalition Building and Affiliative contexts during High-Fiving and in a range of Bonding-Ceremonies between adult females, where the action can be more sudden and dramatic. In some cases the intertwining of trunks can be more like a sudden clasping of another’s trunk.

References: Moss 1981; Poole 1982: 35; Lee 1987; Moss 1988; Kahl & Armstrong 2000; Payne 2003; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2004; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Affiliative, Coalition Building, Social Play


Context: Coalition Building (1)

An End-Zone-Dance is a form of Bonding-Ceremony that takes place after a defensive action. This End-Zone-Dance took place after multiple Group-Advances and multiple Group- and sustained Charges by members of the Mabenzi family. After Valente's almost two minute Charge which was joined by the entire family, Valente and Mwana Nzo High-Five and others all gather in an End-Zone-Dance.

The main players - Valente and Mwana-Nzo - Rumble with Open-Mouth, while they display Rapid-Ear-Flapping, Head-Raising, Tail-Raising, and Defecating. They reach their trunks to one another's mouth, Trunk-to-Mouth, and then display Trunk-Twining, Open-Mouth-to-Open-Mouth Intermittently there are Social-Trumpets. Then Mwana Nzo initiates another Group Advance. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)