A soft, flat, tonal rumble of medium duration (~2.5-4.5 seconds) and low pitch, given by adult or juvenile females in the context of caring for an infant or young calf. There are two broad behavioral contexts in which females call in this manner to a calf with whom they are in close proximity. One is when they greet, touch, suckle or generally "coo over" a calf in the absence of an expression of distress by the calf. Such calling is directed toward infants, rather than older calves, and is especially frequent when there is a newborn in the family. Juvenile females may also call in this manner when touching infants and when they encourage infants to Comfort-Suckle from them. Such touching induces calves to respond with a rumble (see As-Touched-Rumble).

The other context is when adult or juvenile females reassure a calf following an event that has caused the calf to give some form of distress call. Husky-Cries, Begging-Rumbles, Separated-Rumbles, Baroo-Rumbles, Alarm-Trumpets, Cries and Roars all elicit this type of calling by family members. We refer to these calls collectively as Coo-Rumbles.

References: Poole 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavior occurs in the following context(s): Birth, Calf Nourishment & Weaning, Calf Reassurance & Protection


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (1)

Little E is 7 days old and is resting under a tree with his mother and allomother V-Notch - safe under their bellies. As the clip starts V-Notch seems to put the tip of her trunk way back into her mouth and we can hear her Pharyngeal-Pouch-Suck. It sounds as if she has squirted it in her mouth!

At the same time Little E decides to walk forward to go exploring and gives a low-intensity Husky-Cry as he walks forward. His mother distracts him by reaching her Trunk-to-Genitals and Little E gives a high-intensity Husky-Cry as she does and then another. V-Notch Coo-Rumbles to him and she touches him Trunk-to-Mouth. Their distraction techniques work and Little E returns to Sheltering under their bellies. V-Notch begin Trunk-Sucking again. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (2)

Little E is 7 days old. In this scene he is Sheltering under his mother and for the third time he decides to venture out into the sun. The family is Resting in the shade and are not ready to go. As he walks out his mother stops him with her trunk - first Trunk-to-Chest and then Trunk-to-Genitals. He give a high-intensity Husky-Cry and his mother and allomother, V-Notch, Coo-Rumble. He turns around and goes back to Shelter. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (3)

Angelina has newborn twins only a couple of days old. Allomother Arora B Shepherds the male away from Angelina apparently so that she can 'practice' Comfort-Suckling. She adopts a Suckle-Stance and then, when he doesn't try to Suckle she reaches to Grasp-Trunk and seems to try to direct him to Suckle. She Coo-Rumbles to him - as does Amora, who joins them, and he gives a Husky-Cry. She continues to Grasp-Trunk also moving her trounk as if to cover his mouth as he cries - we have seen this before.

There is more Coo-Rumbling by both and another softer Husky-Cry. Arora B perhaps feels crowded by Amora and Shepherds him forward again, where she stops in a Suckle-Stance and again Grasps-Trunk as if to encourage him to Comfort-Suckle. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (4)

Qoral has a newborn male who is lagging behind discovering the nature of soil. An allomother who is Qaskasi, Qasima's 10 year old daughter, tries to Shepherd him along, but Qoral doesn't like her intervention and comes back to see her off and retrieve him. She Pulls him gently along with her trunk and gives a Coo-Rumble to him. (Note that this call is barely audible). Once he is moving in the correct direction she turns and walks on. The infant pauses again and his older brother, Qenkey, Pushes him gently forward. They depart. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (5)

Qoral and allomother Qaskazi stand together at a mudwallow with Qoral's newborn. Each time tone of them touches the infant one or both give what sound and appear to be Coo-Rumbles. The rest of the family is about to arrive. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Calf Reassurance & Protection (6)

Qoral's newborn is trying to Suckle and gives a soft Husky-Cry which is answered by Coo-Rumbles by mother and allomother. The infant gives another louder Husky-Cry and mother and allomother touch the infant Trunk-to-Mouth and Coo-Rumble again. The allomother lingers over the touch placing her trunk fingers over the calf's open mouth and pulling his face upwards, then gives another Coo-Rumble. (Amboseli, Kenya)