Leadership Of Elephants : The Adaptive Value Of Age

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From the above discussion, it can be seen that not only that the elder matriarchal leaders are vital to maintaining the equilibrium state inside the herd, they too play an enormous role in determining the way in which the group will react to the outside influences, and that function also contributes to the degree in which the group is dependent on these old ladies . One of the most direct way that this influence can be recognized is in the ability to survive from dangerous predators. In “ Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age” and “Matriarchs As Repositories of Social Knowledge in African Elephants”, conducted by Karen McComb and two different teams, an experiment is carried out, in which the different elephant families are…show more content…
Since at more stable elephant herds, the most likely sole source of violence they have to worry about is the one from their natural predators, and the presence of the older female matriarch is the key the safety of the whole herd from external violence, these ladies can be considered as the peacekeepers of elephant society. However, there is more to the effect that female leaders have on the violent status of the group that keeps it far away from being always nice and kind. In elephant society as well as that of spider and other animals, in accordance to “Animal Behaviour” by a group of authors including Andreas P. Modlmeier, “the presence of a few mature females drastically increased a groups ' foraging aggressiveness” (9). The appearance of the mature matriarch rapidly increases the number of members of the group who participate in hunting and also their confidence, which results in more aggressive attitude and more bloody hunts. From this phenomenon, the older female leaders are considered to be the “keystone individuals”. The term is defined as individuals who “ influence group dynamics and success in a diverse variety of animal societies” (Modlmeier et al. 9). More interestingly, in “Leadership in elephants: the adaptive value of age”, the presence of the mature elephant matriarchs also increases the chance of “[approaching] to harass predators” (3271) or in other words, mobbing the lions who were initially
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