"African Elephants Call Each Other By Unique Names, New Study Shows"

"WASHINGTON — African elephants call each other and respond to individual names — something that few wild animals do, according to new research published Monday.

The names are one part of elephants’ low rumbles that they can hear over long distances across the savanna. Scientists believe that animals with complex social structures and family groups that separate and then reunite often may be more likely to use individual names.

“If you’re looking after a large family, you’ve got to be able to say, ‘Hey, Virginia, get over here!’” said Duke University ecologist Stuart Pimm, who was not involved in the study.

It’s extremely rare for wild animals to call each other by unique names. Humans have names, of course, and our dogs come when their names are called. Baby dolphins invent their own names, called signature whistles, and parrots may also use names. "

Christina Larson reports for the Associated Press June 10, 2024.

Source: AP, 06/11/2024