Elephants on Parade

Originally published: 11/2006 by J Wynia

It seems that elephants are pretty much everywhere in the news this week. And, they're exhibiting behavior that's much closer to ours than lots of people are expecting.

Stories about elephants that intelligently attack villages and essentially wage war are simultaneously creepy and not at all surprising. I remember first "getting" that animals exhibit this kind of "human" behaviors when watching chimpanzees doing organized hunting of monkees on a Trials of Life video in Mr. Bakke's biology class in high school. So, finding out that another species does it too doesn't surprise me.

That finding fits in nicely with the more widely reported story of elephants joining the small list of animals that recognize themselves in a mirror.

It seems like we've only just scratched the surface of really understanding the animal world and what goes on in non-human skulls.


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