It turns out that humans aren’t the only species here on Earth who call each other by name.
In a recent study, researchers were able to confirm that elephants do indeed have names for each other. Or, rather, “rumbles.”
This groundbreaking research comes out of Kenya’s Samburu ecosystem and Amboseli National Park, where scientists recorded 625 elephant calls and were able to use AI to distinguish the “names” of over 20% of the individual elephants, according to Live Science.
Rather than being generic sounds for the approach of a predator, or a call from a child to their mother, these sounds were distinctly recorded from a caller to a receiver.
In layman’s terms, that means elephants will make specific and unique sounds when a certain elephant comes by, and a different, but just as unique, call for another elephant.
“It shows how elephants are navigating through a large landscape and can still keep in touch with specific individuals,” Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, elephant biologist at Harvard Medical School said to Live Science.
The discovery makes elephants the first animals, other than humans, to address each one another in a manner that does not imitate the receivers’ own call, according to the paper.
Because of the researcher’s work, we are one step closer to understanding just how complex life on our planet is, and how it must be protected.