Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Document Type

Honors Project

University Scholars Director

Dr. Christine Chaney

First Advisor/Committee Member

Dr. Cindy Bishop


Loxodonta (Elephants) are endangered species with only around 40,000-50,000 left in the world. They are part of the Elephantidae family with only three known existing species. Known for their cognitive capacity in their ability to recognize themselves in a mirror among many other actions, such as using self-made tools to aid them in their daily lives. Through past studies, it can be seen that vocalization and physical touch are the key steps of communication. Elephants have demonstrated their ability to distinguish between different frequencies and utilize them to communicate changes in the environment or indicate the absence of a herd member. They show great compassion for their community by providing aid to those who are ill in the herd or by mourning their lost ones. Different sexes have also shown differentiating behaviors, much like that of humans. In these herds of elephants, there is a visible hierarchy among the members, with the eldest female elephant as the matriarch of the herd. However, male elephants often travel separately from females in bachelor groups or alone. Due to rising human interventions (such as hunting and habitat destruction), elephant numbers have declined over the years. Despite elephants showing significant similarities to humans in their social interactions as well as sharing common genetic evolution, their population is decreasing rapidly.


A project submitted to meet the requirements of the Bachelor of Arts degree within the University Scholars Honors Program

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