An elephant who is attentively following an event, situation, individual or interaction, or contemplating a sound, smell or object. The very tip of the trunk is often curled under and around in the shape of a J to point in the direction of the object of interest, the fingers of the trunk opening and closing. He or she may monitor the object or subject of interest by Looking at it, Listening to it, or Sniffing toward it (as well as, perhaps, feeling seismic vibrations).

An elephant may be seen to Contemplate the actions of elephants nearby, an object during Object-Play, the bones of an elephant, human conversation, etc. Elephants may also be observed to Contemplate an experience or incident already ended, apparently considering the sensations, feelings or thoughts.

References: Poole 1996: 121, 129, 138, 156, 157; Poole & Granli 2011 [Monitoring]. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Circus-Pose, Ears-Stiff, Eye-Blinking, Head-Shaking, Head-Swinging, Head-Waggling, J-Trunk, Look-At, Trunk-Sucking and occurs in the following context(s): Attentive, Vigilance


Context: Attentive (1)

This new mother is very attentive Listening and sniffing with a J-Trunk. She appears to be considering or Contemplating something. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Attentive (2)

Matriarch Nalakite walks forward and then stops and stands attentively as if contemplating something. We see her Listening, J-Trunk and Eye-Blinking. Once again there are guinea-fowl alarming in the background. Could she be alerted to predators? Are elephants tuning into these calls? (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Attentive (3)

A large adult male comes up from the lugga and stops with a J-Trunk. He seems to be Listening and Contemplating something. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Attentive (4)

gm0015 stands Contemplating - his Ears-Stiff and exhibiting J-Trunk and Trunk-Sucking. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)