Standing idly, lingering, loitering until other elephants either catch up or are alerted to the signallers attempt to initiate movement; contextually this posture is obvious as the Waiting individual is attentive (engaging in behaviors such as J-Trunk, Eye-Blinking, Ears-Stiff), often glancing back over her shoulder (Look-Back), and/or checking the others' activity by sniffing, listening and looking, and indicating her impatience by taking a few desultory steps and pausing again - Walk-Wait. This behaviour occurs in a number of different contexts.

In a Calf Reassurance & Protection context, mothers and allomothers are often seen Waiting for infants and calves; in a Courtship context, Consorting musth male and estrous female are observed to Wait for one another in order to maintain a certain proximity, to prevent other males from Mating. In a Movement Space & Leadership context, elephants of all age/sex groups Wait for one another to keep the family or group together.

References: Moss 1988; Poole & Granli 2003; Poole & Granli 2011. (Full reference list)

This behavioral constellation includes the following behaviors: Displacement-Feeding, Displacement-Grooming, Ears-Stiff, Eye-Blinking, Foot-Lifting, Foot-Swinging, J-Trunk, Look-Back, Walk-Wait and occurs in the following context(s): Ambivalent, Attentive, Birth, Calf Reassurance & Protection, Courtship, Movement, Space & Leadership


Context: Ambivalent (1)

Tee-Jay and Gordon, both in musth, have been engaged in an Escalated-Contest. But when Paolo, also in musth, appears they turn to look at him in anticipation. When Paolo is about 50 m away both males turn to face him, Waiting for him with some visible apprehension. Gordon is Foot-Lifting and holds his trunk under. Paolo walks toward them with Head-High, Chin-In in a very dominant posture while Tee-Jay's bravado has changed and he Waits for Paolo with Trunk-Toward and his chin further out than earlier. Paolo continues to Advance-Toward them and at about 3 m Tee-Jay Backs-Away. Both males Retreat-From Paolo. Paolo's arrival breaks up the fight, whether purposefully or not. (Amboseli, Kenya)