Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Oestrous Behaviour and Female Choice in the African Elephant

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

1. During the course of an eight year field study of African elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, from September, 1972 to December, 1980, females were seen exhibiting oestrous behaviour on 154 occasions, during which 43 copulations were witnessed. 2. Five categories of oestrous behaviour are described: a) wariness, b) the oestrous walk, c) the chase, d) mounting, and e) consort behaviour. 3. The oestrous behaviour as described was found to be temporally associated with ovulation, as judged by conceptions, in 70.7% of 58 cases. 4. The duration of oestrous periods is estimated at 2-6 days. 5. On average Amboseli females conceived once every 5 years and for each of these conceptions the female may only have been in oestrus once. 6. Evidence from the Amboseli study suggests that some females may exercise choice in mating partners. For example, females were able to elude their pursuers in 69.4% of all chases (n = 134). Observation of female behaviour during oestrus suggested that some females preferred to mate with males in the largest size class, particularly those in musth. 7. Two possible short-term advantages to females exercising choice in mating partners are suggested: a) avoidance of harassment from other bulls; and b) Large males in musth may be more likely to impregnate a female. 8. A possible long-term advantage to mating with a Large, and therefore older, male could be his ability to pass on a trait for longevity. 9. Although females may be exercising choice among the size/age classes, male-male competition among the Large males may override female choice on the individual level.

Affiliations: 1: Animal Research and Conservation Centre, New York Zoological Society, Bronx Park, New York, U.S.A.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation