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WHAT THE ELEPHANTS CAN TEACH US

Blog 49A

The elephant is the largest living land mammal and is known as a symbol of ancient power, strength, and royalty. There are two types still in existence—the Indian and the African. In a National Geographic essay entitled "Human Females Could (Should?) Be More Like Elephant Females," the author Katarzyna Nowak explains how female elephants gain invaluable knowledge from experienced, older matriarchs. They are socially complex and intelligent creatures who inherit from their mothers all the knowledge of migration routes and feeding sites that a herd needs to survive. Nowak also asks what unique skills human females hold for the future of our species and ecosystems. 

One exceptional feature of human females is they live long after menopause. Thus, like elephants, women pass on knowledge and help care for the next generation. Humans, too, are habituated to female social bonding, teaching, and communal rearing. 

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