Elephants, original oil painting on canvas
Image size 12 x 17 cm.
Signed and dated 4/11/2000
Purchased by the vendor at 'The David Shepherd Conservation Foundation' charity dinner in Harrogate 4th November 2000, with David Shepherd in attendance
Female elephants spend their entire lives in tight-knit matrilineal family groups, some of which are made up of more than ten members, including three mothers and their dependent offspring,
and are led by the matriarch which is often the eldest female.
She remains leader of the group until death or if she no longer has the energy for the role; a study on zoo elephants showed that when the matriarch died,
the levels of faecal corticosterone dramatically increased in the surviving elephants.
When her tenure is over, the matriarch's eldest daughter takes her place; this occurs even if her sister is present.
One study found that younger matriarchs are more likely than older ones to under-react to severe danger.
Family groups may split after becoming too large for the available resources.
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