Most Animals Don’t Have Grandmothers, But Elephants Do And Here’s why

For many of us, our grandmothers are the embodiment of wisdom, care, and comfort.

In contrast, in the animal world, the mother of an animal’s mom/dad doesn’t play a role in rearing the younger generation.

This is because animals don’t usually live that long, and not all of them function in such close-knit family units as humans do.

image: Benh Lieu Song/Flickr.

Image: Benh Lieu Song/Flickr.

Over 40 years, Professor Phyllis Lee collected data on 800 different elephants in the Amboseli National Park in Kenya (remember that these animals can live as long as humans). Fascinatingly, she discovered that the survival of a baby elephant depends on the presence of its grandmother.Elephants live in large families made up of members with a wide range of ages.

So here is what makes elephant grandmothers so important

1. The oldest female is always seen as the head of the family among elephants.

She leads the herd to water and food and looks after her family members should they encounter another family.

image: Benh Lieu Song/Flickr.

image: Benh Lieu Song/Flickr.


2. Elephants give birth more often when there’s a grandmother present in the family.




3. It’s the grandmother in particular who protects the baby elephant, keeping an eye on it and helping to remove any obstacles that might appear in their way.




4. Older female elephants don’t compete with others for food, as often happens with other animals, and they allow the baby elephants to eat first.

Elephants are incredibly intelligent animals, and many years of study are required to fully understand them. So if you’re lucky enough to have a grandma, remember that you have a lot more in common with elephants than you may have originally thought.




This little fella must feel hella lucky to have a grandma. 



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