African elephants in captivity reacted to the smell of relatives they had not seen for years by flapping their ears and making rumbling sounds
The memory of elephants is the stuff of lore, and now it seems they can recall the smell of a relative even after a decade apart.
When Franziska Hörner at the University of Wuppertal in Germany and her colleagues heard about planned reunions between two mother-daughter pairs at zoos in Germany, they took advantage of the chance to test the elephants’ memories. One pair had been separated for two years, while the other had spent 12 years apart.
Hörner collected …