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Why Elephants Avoid The High Road
New Scientist ^ | 7-23-2006 | Roxanne Khamsi

Posted on 07/24/2006 5:00:57 PM PDT by blam

Why elephants avoid the high road

17:20 24 July 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Roxanne Khamsi

Elephants do their utmost to avoid going uphill, a new satellite-tracking study shows – their finely balanced metabolism may reveal why.

Researchers tracked elephants by satellite and found that the animals avoid travelling up slopes whenever possible. Calculations suggest an explanation for this behaviour: the big beasts would have to spend hours eating to compensate for travelling up even a relatively gentle incline.

Scientists know that elephants can climb relatively steep mountainous terrain if they must. The North African general Hannibal is even said to have led elephants across the Alps around 200 BC.

Nevertheless, even a minor hill presents a considerable energy barrier for such a heavy animal, explains Fritz Vollrath at the University of Oxford in the UK.

Hill steep blues

Vollrath and colleagues used global positioning system (GPS) technology to track the movements of elephants across northern Kenya over nine years. There were, at times, as many as 30 elephants wearing special collars that transmitted GPS signals.

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: animals; avoid; elephants; high; lazy; road; why

1 posted on 07/24/2006 5:00:58 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Whew! Now I can sleep better!


2 posted on 07/24/2006 5:06:28 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian (ffffFReeeePeee!)
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To: blam

Yeah most fat people avoid climbing mountains and steep slopes too. I know I do.


3 posted on 07/24/2006 5:09:21 PM PDT by sgtbono2002 (The fourth estate is a fifth column.)
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To: blam

Either they all wind up in valleys or they go up as much as they go down.


4 posted on 07/24/2006 5:10:49 PM PDT by gondramB (The options on the table have been there from the beginning. Withdraw and fail or commit and succeed)
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To: Leo Carpathian; blam

Somewhere there is an elephant that is going to remember that this guy accused elephants of not taking the high road.


5 posted on 07/24/2006 5:11:38 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: blam

That is a really stupid article and stupid study. They needed to follow 30 elephants with GPS systems to observe the elephants avoid mountains? And the big theory is it takes more energy to go uphill? I suspect the theory is both obvious and wrong, that the elephants cannot deal as effectively with a predator if they are stuck on hilly terrain, versus flat ground where they can better flee, threaten, or trample a predator.


6 posted on 07/24/2006 5:15:22 PM PDT by Williams
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To: gondramB
Either they all wind up in valleys or they go up as much as they go down.

Good point. This so called scientist must not extrapolate too much from his data. He would probably find that there is a connection between drowning and consumption of ice cream (they both peak in August).

7 posted on 07/24/2006 5:23:58 PM PDT by Lawgvr1955 (You can never have too much cowbell !!)
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To: blam

This study sounds as vacuous as the old Monty Python routine about dinosaurs; "I have a theory, which is mine, which is a theory...".


8 posted on 07/24/2006 5:24:30 PM PDT by 6SJ7
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To: Williams

I've read about elephants that travelled pretty high on the slopes of mountains to reach salt deposits.


9 posted on 07/24/2006 5:32:47 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: cripplecreek
"I've read about elephants that travelled pretty high on the slopes of mountains to reach salt deposits."

I seem to remember something about that...in dark caves, right?

10 posted on 07/24/2006 5:48:18 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Hillary Clinton is from a flat part of NY State. She visits Washington, DC, which is mostly flat. Coincidence?


11 posted on 07/24/2006 5:50:27 PM PDT by ikka
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To: blam
The Underground Elephants of Mount Elgon, Kenya
12 posted on 07/24/2006 5:52:51 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Greed is NOT a conservative ideal.)
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To: cripplecreek
"The Underground Elephants of Mount Elgon, Kenya"

That's it. I saw a documentary on these elepants. It's absolutely black in those caves.

13 posted on 07/24/2006 5:56:56 PM PDT by blam
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To: gondramB
Either they all wind up in valleys or they go up as much as they go down.

I've GOT IT!!!

They all have to eventually end up in the Sea, right?

Then they turn into WHALES!! (Big, Grey, Mammals...)

OK..Where's my Nobel Prize? Where's my NSF Grant!!!??

14 posted on 07/24/2006 6:12:16 PM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: Gorzaloon

This shoul at least least get you some time on O'Reilly :)


15 posted on 07/24/2006 6:14:08 PM PDT by gondramB (The options on the table have been there from the beginning. Withdraw and fail or commit and succeed)
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To: blam

This article is very meaningful,,,as it explains why Hillary has never been seen or photographed walking uphill.


16 posted on 07/24/2006 6:15:29 PM PDT by stockstrader
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To: ikka
Image hosted by Photobucket.com the BEAST is NOT from newyork thank you very much!!!

it just happens to own property here... 8^)

17 posted on 07/24/2006 6:28:25 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist )
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To: blam

This may help explain the current US Congress in it's torporous and elephantine circumambulation around most major issues!


18 posted on 07/24/2006 6:55:03 PM PDT by dodger
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To: ikka
hillary is NOT "from" new york state. please re-word that statement as it makes my skin crawl.

here's something cool: the word "resign", when stated two different ways, means the opposite of itself.

19 posted on 07/24/2006 6:59:43 PM PDT by thefactor
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To: blam

Lol...I thought this was an article about Republicans; I guess I was wrong...or was I? :)


20 posted on 07/24/2006 7:03:00 PM PDT by mx5
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To: mx5

Unless they're taking elevators, escalators or ski lifts, this strategy won't last very long.


21 posted on 07/24/2006 7:26:07 PM PDT by Tymesup
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To: thefactor
here's something cool: the word "resign", when stated two different ways, means the opposite of itself.

I'm familiar with "sanction" having opposite meanings as noun and verb. What usage of "resign" does not have a meaning associated with giving up something (possibly hope)?

22 posted on 07/24/2006 8:45:35 PM PDT by supercat (Sony delenda est.)
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To: supercat

for instance, if you "resign" a contract, you extend your employment. re-sign.


23 posted on 07/24/2006 9:15:16 PM PDT by thefactor
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