<< Previous Next >>

Elephant behaviour

Elephant behaviour
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Thomas (FunkyMunky) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 146 W: 0 N: 608] (3154)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-02-27
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Sigma 18-200mm F3.5 - 6.3 DC OS
Exposure: f/11, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-02-25 4:07
Viewed: 2921
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An elephant bull last week overturned a car with tourists in. One has to be aware that elepahnts can be dangerous and espacially be wary of bulls in musth.

Elephant behaviour


Elephants have a musth gland located just beneath the skin’s surface, halfway between the eye and ear, on each side of their head.

• Annually, musth glands secrete a dark, oily, musky substance and become inflamed. This physiological change is associated with a behavior observed in male elephants called musth, and is characterized by unpredictable, dominant, and excitable behavior.
• The musth period lasts between several days to several months. There is no seasonal pattern with musth. Bulls come into it a different times.
• Male elephants first experience musth about three years after sexual maturity (between eight and 15 years of age) is reached. The musth secretion increases gradually until the bulls reach their 40’s, after which, it declines in strength and intensity.
• Female African elephants experience a much less intense form of musth. It is thought that the scent of the secretion primarily helps unify the herd. Musth has not been documented in Asian female elephants.
• Bulls in musth display a significant change in behavior and deep vocabulary of sounds, which signals strength and virility. These bulls will dominate a herd and are aggressive in warding off rivals. Musth males may rub secretions onto trees to scent—mark (signal to other males) their areas of dominance.

corjan3, brech, matatur, fransswanepoel, Pitoncle, dmark11, anel has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
A beautiful picture of this magnificent elephant, my favourite animal. And a very interesting note too. I was aware of the secretion but not of how it affects the bulls' behaviour. Very good POV also, with the quite tall grass forming a pleasant foreground.

A graphic image of a strong animal Peter, he looks as if ready to charge my friend, hope you were suitably protected. Surely a natural wonder well captured!

Nice one Peter. He must have been too close for comfort with a 200mm lens :)
Well captured with good detail.

Bonjour Peter,
Ce portrait est impressionnant par la force et la puissance qu'il dégage.
A bierntôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hi Peter,
Overturned cars hey, thats pretty scarey! Nice close up and interesting greenery around this beutiful African Elephant. Interesting notes as well.

Hi Peter,
impressive elephant bull looking at you....
good pic.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-03-01 2:03]

Hello Peter.
Very impressive this close view on a bull..I think I would be afraid. Reading your note, even more!!
Very well taken picture with great sharpness and well chosen vertical framing. Not an easy task if I look at the white sky. Interesting vegetation too.
Thanks and kind regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-03-01 6:26]

Hello Peter,
such a huge creature and you are so near to it. Very sharp shot that shows the details and the features. I like to see the big ears and its skin with folds and wrinkles.
Well presented shot.


Calibration Check