Most animals don’t have grandmothers, elephants have?
The grandparents are a source of wisdom, tranquility and joy. Many of us have grown up with them and owe them some of their most important first lessons.
But we are not the only animal that has a grandmother. Elephants also have this happiness, writes Upworthy.
Elephants usually live in large families made up of babies, youngsters and female elephants.
They are often guided by the oldest female who has an important social role in the family.
A study of this topic, conducted by Professor Phyllis Lee, finds something surprising – grandmother turns out to be a major factor in the survival of the elephants.
It was unexpected for us, Lee says. We did not believe we could find a positive link between the presence of the grandmother and the reproductive success of the daughters.”
Only a handful of animals – including humans and other primates, whales and elephants – have grandmothers.
For most animals, being alive and giving birth is inextricably linked. They can give birth to the end of their lives. This makes animals like elephants, who can live long after they stop reproducing, quite a rare phenomenon.
Part of the reason for this is the longevity of the elephants. They can live up to 70 years. Many animals can not live to see children’s children at all. But even if they have this opportunity, most other animals do not have a special relationship with their children when they grow up. For many species, we can see how mother and grandmother struggle for resources if they live in the same place. But not with the elephants.
Elephants support each other.
Indeed, unfortunately for the grandfathers, we have to say that there is no masculine equivalent of this phenomenon. As soon as they see each other, male elephants leave the family, and even live to see the children of their children, they do not have a role in the family.
What do grandparents do for their family?
They keep the baby, watch him and help him in trouble.
Typically, they are also the boss in the family. They lead it to the best places, with the best food and water, or have a leading role in interacting with other elephant families.
Lee explores information gathered from more than 800 individual elephants in the Ambozelli National Park in Kenya. Scientists have been watching elephants there for decades. A large part will be in process.
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