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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rumble in the Desert

One of the reasons we cover so much straight zoology fare is because you never know what could be applicable to "hidden animals" we've yet to discover - the true meat (no pun intended) and potatoes of The OddBlog. Not to mention there are a lot of exciting things to know about the animal kingdom we already know. Elephants' ability to communicate through rumblings in the earth is one of these fabled skills. Now, zoologists are trying to harness this to better help rampaging males avoid violent confrontations with farmers and other people.

In trials, males (bulls) in "must" responded to recordings of females in heat and moved toward them. Zoologists used the recordings to maneuver the bulls around a watering hole, setting them on one path and bringing them back around to another.

The researchers buried speakers in the ground and played the sound, which is barely perceptible to humans. The bulls' response was "intense" and more direct than expected, leading the zoologists to say they were "very excited" about the developments.

© C Harris Lynn, 2009

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