A combination call that consists of a Rumble followed by a Roar and then a Rumble without an inhalation (see Roar). Roars that occur during intense social excitement such as during a greeting ceremony, the birth of a calf, or in response to the arrival of a musth male may occur as a Rumble-Roar-Rumble. Similarly, the roars of a lost calf may often be in the form Rumble-Roar-Rumble, though the quality of these is different from those occurring in a social context.

A calf or juvenile elephant who is separated from its family typically begins to call with a series of Separated-Rumbles. As a lost calf becomes increasingly distressed, the Rumbling escalates to shrill Trumpeting or Roaring. The Roars emitted by a lost calf are typically concatenated calls in the form of a Roar-Rumble or Rumble-Roar-Rumble.

References: Poole 2011, Pardo et al 2019. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Roar, Rumble and occurs in the following context(s): Advertisement & Attraction, Affiliative, Calf Nourishment & Weaning, Conflict & Confrontation, Movement, Space & Leadership, Protest & Distress


Context: Calf Nourishment & Weaning (1)

A 1 year calf suckles from a young female (with small breasts) and then stops midway to gives a Rumble-Roar-Rumble and then another loud throaty Rumble. It appears that the calf listens before calling. It is possible that the female he is Suckling from is not his mother and that he is calling to his mother who is out of sight. Alternatively he is not getting enough milk and is complaining, but the call does not have quite the right tone for than. The adult female also Rumbles as we can see by her Ear-Flapping. He resumes Suckling. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Calf Nourishment & Weaning (2)

This footage was shot by Kelly Fogel in Kruger National Park, South Africa. A young mother has just given birth to a female infant and has an older female calf who is about 4.5 years old. In separate footage, the older calf has been Suckling as the infant searches for the breast and attempts to Suckle, too. The mother spent 20 minutes Eating-Afterbirth (see separate clip) and has eaten the entire placenta. The older calf seems eager to depart and is, perhaps, unhappy with her mother being otherwise occupied. She may also be unhappy having to share the breast with the newborn.

We cannot be sure why the calf calls (we have placed it in Calf Nourishment & Weaning), but we hear her give two soft Rumbles as she walks off and then give a loud Open-Mouthed Rumble-Roar-Rumble in some sort of distress. Her mother quickens her pace and moves toward her older daughter and the three depart. (Kruger National Park, South Africa)