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Elephants may be able to hear rain generated sound up to 150 miles away

Posted October 16, 2014
A team of researchers working in Nambia has found that elephants are able to detect rain storms from distances as far away as 150 miles. In their paper published in the journal PLOS ONE, the researchers describe how they tracked both elephants and rain over the course of several years and found the elephants were clearly able to detect rain events from great distances and move towards them.

African Bush Elephant in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania. Taken by Oliver Wright, via Wikipedia.

Nambia, like much of south-western Africa, is a hot and dry place for most of the year, that’s why animals that live there have learned to take advantage of the rainy season that occurs each year from January to March. Elephants are one such animal—they drink and splash around in temporarily engorged streams and other watering holes. Elephants are also migratory animals, with herds nearly constantly on the move in the search for food and water. In this new effort the team of researchers was looking to better understand why elephant herds have such strange migration patterns during the rainy season.

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