An estrous female calling with a distinctive long (~5-6 seconds), highly modulated, rolling rumble that she repeats at intervals, as if in song. Her calling begins immediately her mate dismounts. Each Estrous-Rumble starts at relatively low frequency, rises sharply and descend slowly, and calls may be repeated for up to 45 minutes. We refer to these calls as Estrous-Rumbles and this pattern of calling as an Estrous-Song.

The female calls very powerfully at the beginning of her song, gradually diminishing in intensity over time. Likewise the time between each call in the song is begins at around 1.5 seconds and increases with the length of time after the mating. She may reach out, repeatedly, to touch her partner's penis (Trunk-to-Genitals), or his semen on the ground (Sniff-Semen), calling with more vigor at each renewed sniff. Her calling is associated with loud, Rapid-Ear-Flapping and copious secretion from her temporal glands (Temporin).

Estrous-Rumbles have the effect of attracting (often distant) males. Though typically emitted in association with a mating, females at peak estrus have been documented to call in this manner in the absence of a mating.

References: Poole 1987b; Poole et al 1988; Poole & Moss 1989; Poole 2011. (Full reference list)

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


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (1)

Amparo is Chased by Esau and other males. Esau tries Reaching-Over but she keeps running. She Tail-Swats to monitor how close Esau is. We hear her bond-group Rumbling and Social-Trumpeting in excitement in the background. Then we hear her emit a series of Estrous-Running-Rumbles and two Estrous-Roars as she is caught and Mounted by Esau.

It appears to be a successful Mating and we hear the start of a Mating-Pandemonium as her family rushes to the scene. Amparo begins her Estrous-Song with a series of Open-Mouthed Estrous-Rumbles that are associated with Rapid-Ear-Flapping as her members of her family Rumble and Social-Trumpet overlapping their calls with hers. In this clip we show two Estrous-Rumbles. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (2)

Pascal is in musth and Amparo is in estrus and they are in Consort. This is the 4th day that she is in estrus and she is at her peak. At the start of the clip we see Pascal standing next to Amparo with a Penis-Erection. Pascal then begins a series of courtship behaviors for 2 and a half minutes (which has been shortened to reduce the file size): Reaching-Over her and Resting-Head on her three times and in between these gently Driving her - pushing and nudging her from side to side and reaching his Trunk-Toward her. Meanwhile, Amparo cooperates and shows she is ready by Backing-Toward him. She Stands-to-Mate.

As the other elephants realise what is about to happen they walk toward her to watch. Tuskless Dram Rumbles and Amparo joins her with an Estrous-Rumble. Dram Rumbles twice more. Pascal steps back and forth shifting his weight from one foot to the other as he prepares to lift himself onto his hind legs and Dram Rumbles again. Pascal mounts and appears to achieve intromission on the 5th thrust. As he enters her he raises up and we can see that Amparo appears to be lifted up by his penis - we see her Kick-Back with first one leg and then the other as she seems to be almost standing on her toes - her hind legs out-stretched.

Pascal remains inside her for 29 seconds and the other males mill around them. As he begins to dismount we hear the Open-Mouth Rumbling starts in earnest - first by tuskless Dram and then Amparo begins her Open-Mouthed Estrus-Rumbling, and someone gives a Social-Trumpet. Amparo Tail-Raises and we see semen gush from her vulva. She Backs-Away giving more Estrus-Rumbles. Then we hear Dram Rumble again and then Amparo - back and forth many times as we can see by their alternating Rapid-Ear-Flapping. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (3)

Pascal is in musth and Qadija is in estrus. Pascal has been Guarding her all day. We have seen signs that they are about to Mate.

As this clip starts Pascal with a Penis-Erection Pursues Qadija who engages in an Estrous-Walk, Looking-Back. As Pascal gets closer she slows. With an Open-Mouth Pascal Reaches-Over and she Stands-to-Mate. Pascal Mounts her and appears to achieve intromission on the 7th thrust. Rumbling and Rumble-Roar-Rumbles by other family members can be heard. Qadija Kicks-Back at Pascal and other males gather around them reaching Trunk-Toward them. Pascal is Mounted for 25 seconds and Rumbling by family members continues.

As he dismounts Qadija rushes forward and gives an Estrous-Rumble which is answered by Pascal Musth-Rumbling and then another Estrous-Rumble by Qadija who then Head-Shakes. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Advertisement & Attraction (4)

There are four males in musth together. The two males on the left have just been in a fight, which was broken up by Paulo, the male on the right with two long tusks. A fourth musth male, Ulysses joins them. As they are standing around interacting they hear an estrous female give an Estrous-Rumble in the distance (~5000 meters). She is with a fifth musth male. Notice that when she calls Tee-Jay and Gordon Listen and then turn and head in her direction. Paulo is already heading that way and Ulysses stands and Listens. (Amboseli, Kenya)