Do ele­phants re­ally never for­get?

Focus-Science and Technology - - Q&A -

An ele­phant has a very large brain for its size and the ‘tem­po­ral lobe’ re­gion re­spon­si­ble for mem­ory is more de­vel­oped with a greater num­ber of folds – this re­sults in pow­er­ful abil­i­ties to ‘down­load’ im­por­tant sur­vival data such as where to find food and water, and who is friend or foe. The ma­tri­arch of a herd (who can live for 60 years) may recog­nise over 200 in­di­vid­ual ele­phants and can re­act to the call of a de­ceased mem­ber of her herd two years after their death. Dur­ing droughts, these grandma ele­phants lead fam­ily mem­bers to wa­ter­holes by re­call­ing de­tailed maps they’ve made span­ning hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres. So although they un­doubt­edly for­get what they don’t need to re­mem­ber, they ap­pear to re­mem­ber what they can­not af­ford to for­get!

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