June 23, 2024

Ferrum College : Iron Blade Online

Complete Canadian News World

The study indicates that each elephant has its own name

The study indicates that each elephant has its own name

what’s in a name? It’s more than just a sound people make to get your attention — it’s a seemingly universal hallmark of human society and language, the details of which set us apart from our animal brethren. Now, scientists say they’ve found evidence with the help of AI-powered tools that elephants give each other names, too.

“They have this ability to individually call out specific members of their family with a unique call,” said Mickey Pardo, a vocal biologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and author of the book “The New York Times.” Study published Monday In the Journal of Landscape Ecology and Evolution.

Elephants’ loud calls may be their most recognizable sounds, but they are “essentially an emotional outburst,” Dr Pardo said. The low-pitched rumble has more meaning, he said, because it makes up the majority of elephant vocalizations and is used in a wide range of social situations. “There are a lot of interesting things happening at the Rumble,” he said.

To decipher these sounds, Dr. Pardo and George Whitmire, professor of conservation biology at Colorado State University and chair of the scientific council of the nonprofit Save the Elephants, analyzed 469 sounds made by family groups of adult female elephants and their offspring recorded in Amboseli National Park and the Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Parks. In Kenya.

It can be difficult for the human ear to distinguish between elephant sounds, so the researchers used machine learning analysis: they mainly relied on artificial intelligence to analyze the sounds of different elephants.

Individual elephants seemed to respond to certain sounds of other elephants, and the researchers fed those sounds into their artificial intelligence tool. “If the calls contain something like a name, you should be able to tell who the call is being directed to just from the audio structure of that call alone,” Dr. Pardo said.

See also  Non-discriminatory for Chinese travelers

Until now, scientists are not sure exactly what part of the pronunciation the elephant’s “name” might be. But they found that the ability of their AI tool to identify the intended recipient of the rumble went far beyond what random chance would dictate.

They supplemented these analyzes with fieldwork conducted by Dr. Pardo and David Lulchorage, a co-author of the study and a research assistant at Save the elephants. The researchers played recordings of the elephants’ gurgles and filmed their responses; They found that individual elephants’ responses to their “names” were stronger than their responses to other calls, raising their ears and leaning back.

“I was very excited, especially when we got the results from the run, because I think that’s the strongest piece of evidence that elephants can actually know, just by hearing the call, whether it’s meant for them or not,” Dr. Pardo said. No, and they respond more strongly to the invitations that were originally addressed to them.”

Other animals, incl Dolphins And Parrots, he found that they called each other by what scientists called “names.” But these sounds are imitations of sounds repeatedly made by other individuals. This is different from the way humans create names – for example, if your name is John, you probably didn’t get that name because of your tendency to go around saying “John” repeatedly. But African bush elephants, say Dr. Pardo and his colleagues, may be the first non-human animals shown to call each other by names as humans understand them, based on abstract sounds.

See also  Putin will attend the G20 summit in Indonesia, despite calls for his exclusion over the Ukraine war

While this finding is preliminary, Dr. Pardo said elephants calling each other with random sounds would be important because humans assign random sounds to objects in order to “communicate about things that don’t make any consistent sound. It really expands the range of things we can talk about.” Whether this means elephants might have names for other things is up for debate, but the way they seem to name each other leaves that possibility open.

Caitlin O’Connell Rodwell, an acoustic biologist at Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the project, called the study a “game-changer.”

“It is only recently, with artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, that this type of analysis is now possible,” Dr. O’Connell-Rodwell said. The study’s argument for such sophisticated communication among elephants “makes perfect sense when they’re trying to disperse in search of food and need specific communication,” she said.

Dr Whitmire said these insights into communication between elephants reveal “how important the social fabric is to this animal’s existence”. “Social connectedness is fundamental to everything about elephants,” he said.

This commonality between elephants and humans could benefit conservation, because it may “help us recognize ourselves in it, which is the only way we seem to understand anything,” Dr. Whitmire said.