Ears


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Definition of Ears

From the elephant glossary Section: elephant anatomy


The ear of an Asian elephant in Cambodia
The ear of an Asian elephant in Cambodia
Behind the ear is sometimes a round "ball" to be seen
Behind the ear is sometimes a round "ball" to be seen
When elephants eat lots of Tannins, or Tannoids (like wild elephants and elephants kept in semi-natural environment), the ball gets larger.
When elephants eat lots of Tannins, or Tannoids (like wild elephants and elephants kept in semi-natural environment), the ball gets larger.



Relevant Literature about Ears
Elephant ears have thick bases with thin tips. The ear flaps, or pinnae, contain numerous blood vessels called capillaries. Warm blood flows into the capillaries, helping to release excess body heat into the environment. This occurs when the pinnae are still, and the animal can enhance the effect by flapping them. Larger ear surfaces contain more capillaries, and more heat can be released.

When you see a picture of African elephants, keeping the ears close to the body, this may be an indication that the picture was taken in early morning, when its still a bit cold.

Of all the elephants, African bush elephants live in the hottest climates, and have the largest ear flaps.

Elephants are capable of hearing at low frequencies and are most sensitive at 1 kHz (in close proximity to the Soprano C).

Behind the ear a round ball can sometimes be seen, which is actually a gland. The gland gets activated when elephants eat lots of plants which include Tannins, or Tannoids (like wild elephants and elephants kept in semi-natural environment), and the ball gets larger.

This may also be seen in captive conditions, like a zoo, when and if the elephants get a lot of branches. If theres a lack a branches, the ball is visually absent.

Using elephants ears for identification


The ears of individual elephants may have different location, size and shape, and have characteristic ear patterns, and they may have collapsed or folded ears.

They may also have notches, tears and holes, and are one of the noticeable physical features which differ between individuals, and can be used to identify individuals on spot, or from photographs, by noting venation patterns on the ears.

Over the course of almost 25 years, the organisation Elephants Alive in South Africa has developed a unique System of Elephant Ear-pattern Knowledge (SEEK), which makes allowance for rapid individual identification of Savanna elephants with reduced observer bias using basic software while also accommodating missing information or changes in identification features over time.

Elephants Alive also developed an identification database consisting of over 2,000 elephants by documenting their unique features.

Internal relevant links on website www.elephant.se



Ears mentioned in The Elephant Database

11 articles about countries in the elephant database match the word Ears.

260 locations holdings in the elephant database match the word Ears.

653 elephants in the elephant database match the word Ears




Reference list Koehl, Dan, (2021). Ears. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 September 2021 at https://www.elephant.se/index.php?id=33. (archived at the Wayback machine)


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Categories glossary | anatomy |


About this documentThis document was created: 2021-07-22. Latest update: 2021-10-08 11:46:57 included 2335 characters with valid HTML5 Valid CSS



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