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| Last Updated:: 27/10/2014

Elephants can ‘hear’ rainfall from miles away, say researchers

Elephants are able to detect rain storms from distances as far as 240 km and move towards them, researchers working in Namibia have found.


Namibia, like much of south-western Africa, is hot and dry most of the year, the reason why animals living there have learned to take advantage of its rainy season between January and March, researchers said. Elephants are migratory animals, with herds on near-constant move in search of food and water.


Prior research has found that a herd will sometimes change direction suddenly for no apparent reason. To find out why, researchers tracked 14 elephants, each a member of a different herd. They also tracked rainfall using weather satellite data.