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Organizational Behavior Similarities Between Humans and Elephants - Essay Example

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Organizational Behavior (Humans and Elephants) 12 May 2011 Introduction Elephants are one of the most intelligent mammals on earth. In fact, their high level of intelligence and memory helped them survive for a very long time, since the paleontological era…
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Organizational Behavior Similarities Between Humans and Elephants
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Download file to see previous pages Among their unique characteristics are having a long and flexible snout (proboscis), elongated incisor teeth (tusk) and a placenta just like humans. They have other distinguishing features which are not very obvious such as obscure features in their teeth, shoulders and ankles; they are one of the very few hoof mammals to have retained five toes (other mammals have only four or fewer toes). Discussion Elephants exhibit a remarkable high level of intelligence; this makes up for their very slow gaits which usually has an adverse effect on wild animals because slow-moving animals are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to escaping their predators. Their big size is a big help in their fight for survival since they have very few enemies in the wild; however, there is another characteristic of elephants which is their complex level of organizational behaviors. It is this social behavior which has allowed them to outlive other species in the wild as it makes them highly organized in terms of foraging for food, looking for water sources and in fighting off predators; elephants also learn throughout their lifetimes (Haynes 64). Elephants are highly-socialized animals. They live in groups, tend to stay with their relatives, form into familial and kin groupings similar to human clans, highly gregarious and in general associate with other members of their herd. The social behavior of the elephants is very complex because they live very long lives (ibid.) and elephants are suspected to use the same type of personal individual identification as humans when they communicate with each other. They largely maintain long-term relationships; elephant groups are female-centered. By using infrasonic (low-frequency) calls, elephants can communicate with all the other group members and identify an elephant’s individual identity (Breed & Moore 196). The elephants are also very adaptive in their behaviors, with females influencing the males (Wasser 30). Social System of Elephants – their social system is hierarchical and matriarchal. It is usually the oldest female elephant that is the recognized leader of the group. The rest of the group members follow their matriarch in search of food and water to areas which are recalled by the matriarch’s memory bank. Studies showed that elephant groups without a matriarch are often very tentative in which direction to go because no one gives the order (Dagg 32). An elephant herd needs a large territory because it has an inefficient digestive tract, able to digest and absorb only half the food an elephant eats (O’Connell 235) and needs a big grazing area. The study of elephant behavior will have a great bearing on efforts to ensure their survival. The herd behavior of elephants exhibit striking similarities to human behavior in the social organization sphere. There is an acknowledged leader in a group and this is the oldest female elephant (matriarch) but other female members (sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins, etc.) take a collective effort in caring for their young. It is the matriarch, together with the several generations of relatives, who will gather the group into a close-knit unit that will suddenly take a charge and stampede a perceived threat (AWF 1). Elephants use a variety of ways to communicate such as by sound, smell and stamping the ground (Waal & Tyack 79). Stress Conditions – elephants are very similar to human beings in many ways. One ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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