Some African elephant call types

Hi all,

I apologize that we have been so quiet for so long.  We are working on a major update for our website as well as on several other projects with deadlines, and these activities have limited our ability to focus on our blog. In addition we have had family visiting from around the world.

The update on our website will include a long awaited database of elephant calls and we have much to do to prepare the sounds and text for the database. I thought that I could bring you along with me as I work – sharing examples of the calls as I prepare the files. Elephant rumbles are very low frequency calls and I originally saved individual calls at a low sample rate. While this is perfect for analysis, to make the MP3 files necessary for the database and for sharing with you I need to go back the original recordings. This is quite a time consuming job – but it must be done! On WildlifeDirect I am restricted for the time being to a maximum file size of 300 KB – and that really limits what we can share with you – but I will do my best. Let me start by introducing you to some different overall call types before I get into the calls African elephants produce in specific behavioral contexts.

Listen to the different call types. Notice that elephants sometimes combine call types – as for instance a bark and a rumble, or a rumble and a roar:











Then there are learned calls which I will come back to later.

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  1. Anita
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    I was listening to elephant sounds from the Elephant Sanctuary elephants and I felt like I got to know them better. Mine 9 yo said they sounded peaceful.

    These sounds are fascinating. Are you going to add info like situation, age, etc.?

  2. Lucia Cristiana, Brasil
    Posted May 22, 2008 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this amazing post.

  3. Posted May 26, 2008 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your comment – nice to know that you have heard voices of elephants before. You will find information mentioned on the database we are currently preparing for our website We will obviously also include more sounds on WildlifeDirect!

  4. colleen
    Posted May 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Im looking for the very low frequency sounds (mating?)
    have heard them only once….would like to hear again,
    and longer…


    will contribute when can

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