During a Greeting-Ceremony members of a family or bond group may rush to meet one another while emitting loud, modulated, throaty Greeting-Rumbles, and, sometimes, Social-Trumpets and Roars. The elephants raise their heads, lift and spread their ears, secreting Temporin profusely. As they meet they flap their lifted ears rapidly, while still Rumbling, Trumpeting and Roaring. Rubbing together they may stand in parallel, or face-to-face, and while holding heads high, Open-Mouth-to-Open-Mouth they may click their tusks together and entwine trunks. As the greeting continues they may back into one another, Pirouetting, Urinating and Defecating.

References: Douglas-Hamilton 1972: 102; Moss 1981, 1988; Poole 1987b; Poole 1996:93; Poole et al. 1988; Poole 1998a; Poole 1999b; Poole 2000a; Payne 2003. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Back-Toward, Defecating, Ear-Folding, Ear-Slap, Eyes-Wide, Greeting-Rumble, Head-Raising, Head-Shaking, Open-Mouth, Open-Mouth-to-Open-Mouth, Pirouette, Rapid-Ear-Flapping, Reach-Touch, Roar, Rumble-Roar-Rumble, Sashay, Snort, Social-Rubbing, Tail-Raising, Temporin, Trunk-to-Mouth, Trunk-Twining, Tusk-Clank, Urinating and occurs in the following context(s): Affiliative


Context: Affiliative (1)

Two groups that have been in the vicinity of one another come together. We see Matriarch gf0070 adopt a Waiting posture, her Chin-Out expectant as the other family approaches. At that point we don't know if they are close associates or not.

As they come close she moves towards them and they Greet. We can see Rapid-Ear-Flapping, Ear-Folding, Trunk-to-Mouth and Trunk-to-Genitals. This is a Greeting-Ceremony, although based on their behavior we suspect that they are from the same clan but not the same family or close bond-group. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Affiliative (2)

Pat Derby, Ruby and others come together with a Purposeful-Walk. As they approach one another we hear deep Greeting-Rumbles and they begin Rapid-Ear-Flapping, A young female opens her mouth (Mouth-Open) and gives a loud Social Trumpet. Ruby (tuskless) is streaming with Temporin. The Rumbling continued as they move rapidly forward with Pat Derby in the lead. Pat Derby gives a loud Ear-Slap and as she turns we see that she, too, is streaming with Temporin.

As they come closer to the camera we hear more and very clear Greeting-Rumbles. Ruby pauses to Urinate and we see that in addition to Temporin she has Ear-Secretion. Pat Derby comes forward and stops to Listen, then she rumbles really loudly as if in response to someone she can hear. Ruby listens too and we think we heard a distant call - several respond. All get Temporin even the calves though the adult females are really streaming.

A minute later they meet the others and there is a loud exchange but the filmmakers had car difficulties. We hear roaring and a social trumpet. We see later that the Greeting-Ceremony that the filmmakers missed is with Gina f0263 and others. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (3)

Little E is 6 days old. Unfortunately we cannot see the family well as they are in the bushes. By the sounds of the vocalizations and what takes place this is a Greeting-Ceremony. After some time you can see a calf coming - it is Latino's little 1.5 male. And then another calf and then finally in comes Matriarch Grumpy Grandma, f0412. As she arrives the rumbling and social trumpeting begins afresh. f0412 arrives with Temporin.

So indeed this is a Greeting-Ceremony but we can't see it and the wind is bad, too. We have included it just as an example of the tempo of vocalizations and context. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (4)

Gina (right) and Carolyn (left) are engaged in a Greeting. Unfortunately the beginning is cut off but Gina is rumbling and Carolyn gives loud throaty Greeting-Rumble type response with an Open-Mouth. They are Rapid-Ear-Flapping. They reach out with a Reciprocal-Trunk-to-Mouth.

Gina continues to reach toward Carolyn who Orients-Away while still Rumbling and Rapid-Ear-Flapping. Carolyn Kick-Dust as she turns. Then the Greeting-Rumbles become Cadenced-Rumbles which continue long beyond the end of this clip. (Maasai Mara, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (5)

Two segments of the C family come together in a Greeting-Ceremony - Nomada and her sub-group come from the right and Corajosa and her sub-group from the left. As they come together we hear a Social-Trumpet and some Rumbling. Then we hear another Social-Trumpet and more Rumbling. Neither the audio nor video is very good but there is some nice behavior including Ear-Folding and Rapid-Ear-Flapping by the main participants; Nomada does a Pirouette and Backs-Toward Corajosa who Reach-Touch, Ear-Brush and Social-Rubs against Nomada. A young female Urinates. (Gorongosa, Mozambique)


Context: Affiliative (6)

Amparo is in estrous and has just Mated with Pascal in musth. They are in Consort. Amparo's family has been hanging about Waiting for her sometimes close, sometimes further away. Now they want to move on and begin Contact-Rumbles back and forth to her. As tuskless Dram moves closer Amparo Backs-Toward her and Head-Shakes. The Rumbles change from the back and forth Contact type to more Greeting-Rumble type as Dram reaches her side and they Greet with Head-Raising, Ear-Lifting and Greeting-Rumbles.

We have shortened the clip, but we can see them Waiting and Contact-Rumbles begin afresh as we see the rest of the family coming. Note that we have only marked the more powerful calls, but there is a lot of back and forth softer calls. Then we see Qapella arriving along with another female and her calves. They approach Amparo and Greeting-Rumbles begin afreash. Unfortunately males walk in front of the camera and we are blocked from seeing the entire Greeting, but the male passes to reveal Head-Raising, Ear-Lifting, Open-Mouth-to-Open-Mouth, Tail-Raising, Tusk-Clank and Social-Rubbing. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (7)

Two families walk toward one another on a spit of land between two water holes. Ten elephants come from the right (East) and the MB family comes from the left (West) with at least 26 elephants in their group. A couple of males watch. Soft Rumbling begins before they meet. As the MBs approach with Maria in the lead, Annlies with a newborn, and another female with her, stand Head-Raising and Ear-Lifting, Waiting for them. Both Oriented-Away slightly.

When Maria is about 4 meters from her Annelies Urinates and erupts in loud Open-Mouthed Rumbling and Rapid-Ear-Flapping, As Maria reaches her Trunk-Toward her she Open-Mouth Rumbles again. Maria Ear-Folds and Reaches-Over Annelies and Rests-Head on Annelies' back. Annelies continues to Rumble and gets Temporal-Gland-Secretion.

There is more Rumbling by the female who came with Annelies, who Backs-Toward members of the MB family, one of whom appears to Social-Rub against her. Both families continue to the east side of the water holes, where the ABDC families had come from. Annelies and her group join Amparo. Later the two families join again. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (8)

Prior to the start of this clip Angelina, her newborn twins, four allomothers (Arora B, Amora, Aspen and Allura), juvenile male Anson and a medium sized male (9 in total) enter the swamp and begin to swim to the other side. A terrible drama unfolds there when one of the twins follows the adult male instead of Angelina. He freaks out and Kicks-Back and Tusks the twin who bobs about like a buoy. Angelina finally goes to the rescue and clashes with the male to get her infant back.

As this is unfolding the clip begins and we see Abra (Angelina's niece) and her 3 year old calf swimming toward them from the other side - Abra is circled with a Periscope-Trunk. rather than continuing across the swamp, Angelina returns the twins to the safety of the bank on our side of the swamp. We can still hear the male Trumpeting in agitation.

Abra is close behind by now and as she arrives her daughter Allura is waiting for her with a Periscope-Trunk. She gives and Open-Mouth Rev sounding call followed immediately by an Open-Mouthed Greeting-Rumble. These calls are overlaid with Social-Trumpets by Aspen or Amora. As Abra comes out of the swamp Angelina and Abra Greet one another Trunk-to-Mouth and both give Greeting-Rumbles. Amora comes out of the swamp Tail-Raising and Urinates. Others join in with Greeting-Rumbles and Social-Trumpets. The Open-Mouthed Greeting-Rumbles continue back and forth. These are interlaced with more audible Grumble-Rumbles by Abra's calf who is trying to Suckle and may feel that she is being interrupted. Angelina Snorts and we see dust fly. There are more Greeting-Rumbles and a couple of Social-Trumpets. Then Angelina takes a step forward.

At some point - and it is hard to be sure where this transition occurs - the calls seem to change tenor to Cadenced-Rumbles and then, after the end of this clip, to Let's-Go-Rumbles. Some of the last Rumbles that we have marked as Greeting-Rumbles sound more like Cadenced-Rumbles. This is often typical of Greetings as members of a family wait for one another and then discuss what to do and put this plan into action. Abra comes to stand next to Angelina as this Cadenced type exchange is going on and the clip ends. Note that we have not marked the Ear-Lifting, Head-raising, Rapid-Ear-Flapping and Ear-Folding that occurs during this Greeting-Ceremony. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (9)

Nine year old Nastya is in estrus and has been separated from her family for over an hour. She has been Contact-Calling and there have been answers.

As this clip starts Nayanka, her mother, stands Waiting for her to come and Nastya walks toward her followed by males. Then they both walk toward each other. When they are five meters apart Nastya stops and begins with a throaty Open-Mouthed Greeting-Rumble and Nayanka responds with a lower and softer Greeting-Rumble. Both are Rapid-Ear-Flapping and Nastya in particular is Head-Raising and Ear-Lifting and Tail-Raising. Nayanka comes to her reaching Trunk-to-Mouth as Nastya Rumbles again with an Open-Mouth and Nayanka again responds. Both Urinate. Nastya calls a third time with an Open-Mouth - longer tri-modal call and perhaps more complaining sounding. And Nayanka reaches to her again and then Trunk-to-Mouth and holds it in her OPen-Mouth as Nastya gives a final Rumble. Then Nayanka turns back toward the family with a Head-Shake. The two pause Tail-Raising. Nastya reaches Trunk-to-Genitals, touching her mother's clitoris. Then the two walk together with all the males in tow. Nayanka got Fresh Temporin 3 during the Greeting-Ceremony. (Amboseli, Kenya)


Context: Affiliative (10)

An aggregation of about 100 elephants has been Bathing and Playing and interacting in and around a deep pool. Zap is separated from her family and begins running toward them with what sound like Play-Trumpets. As she arrives where Noyeau and the others stand she Ear-Folds and Noyeau Head-Shakes. As she joins them we can hear Greeting-Rumbles and a Social -Trumpet and then some Play-Trumpets from the closer animals playing in the water. Zap Pirouettes, Kicks-Back and begins Play-Trumpeting again. (Amboseli, Kenya)