• Researchers found Asian elephant calves showing handedness in trunk earlier.
  • JNCASR observed 30 unique Elephant calves and studied from 2015 to 2017.
  • The mother-calves synchrony also increases with the calves development in  trunk motor system.

A Trunk could be compared with the hand of a man. The researchers from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for the advanced scientific researcher (JNCASR) observed 30 unique Elephant calves of Asia, discovered that despite their trunk takes time to develop but has adult-like usage. They develop handedness (right or left-side bias) in trunk usage quite early and published this fact in the “International Journal of Development Biology.”

Researchers found an interesting system to study the Asian Elephant calves. From 2015 to 2017, in the Kabini Elephant project in Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks, the researchers took 30 unique calves from 11 distinct clans to look at how the trunk motor control develops. They found that calve took about 6 months to pluck grass in an adult manner, even young calves below 3 months showed handedness in trunk usage. It shows that such handedness might be natural in Asian elephants. The JNCASR also took 81 calves and saw unique behavior, as they grew up calves spends less time resting and more time feeding.

The evolutionary and organismal Biology Unit, JNCASR said “We collected field Data on trunk use, lateralization, and behaviors from individually identified, free-ranging elephants in southern India.” They also studied mother-calf synchrony in behaviors. The mother-calf behavioral synchrony was low but with the development of the trunk motor system of the calves, mother-calf behavioral synchrony steadily increased.


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