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Fight Against Maturity

Have elephants been looking at you strangely?

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New Scientist

Elephants can sniff out human friends from foe, suggests a new study which shows the big mammals can recognise the smells and clothing of different ethnic groups.

African bush elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park flee from the scents and colours of clothing worn by Masai warriors, but are not bothered nearly as much by the scent or sight of garments worn by local farmers.

The findings may be the best evidence yet that animals apart from humans can differentiate groups of individuals within other species.

“They are defining groups that pose different levels of risk within the human species,” says Lucy Bates at the University of St Andrews, UK. “This is the most sophisticated level of group identification within species for any animal other than people.”

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October 18, 2007 - Posted by | animals

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