An elephant never forgets. Particularly when it comes to remembering where to find the nearest watering hole! New research published this week in Proceedings B investigates the scales of decision making and how spatial memory influences the movement behaviour of African savannah elephants in Etosha National Park, Namibia, when they access critical resources such as perennial waterholes. A commentary also published this week accompanies this article.

This month’s cover image features one such elephant, at a waterhole in this national park. The authors kindly supplied us with lots of beautiful photos to choose from, and we’ve picked some of our favourites to share below in this post.


Activities amongst individuals of an elephant herd emphasize behavioural traits which strengthen group cohesion. (Credit: Yathin Krishnappa).



An elephant bull displays dominance behaviour at Nebrownii water hole in central Etosha National Park. (Credit: Yathin Krishnappa).


_I5H5328An aggregation of bull elephants share water at the Nebrownii water hole before the onset of the rainy season in Etosha National Park. (Credit: Yathin Krishnappa).


La_0213At the height of the dry season, elephants gather at an isolated water hole in Namibia (Credit: Werner Kilian).


La_0326After drinking at a perennial water hole in Etosha National Park, the matriarch leads her family unit away from water to their foraging areas. (Credit: Werner Kilian).





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