For humans, grandmothers are one of life's greatest blessings. And here's a fact you may not have known: It's quite the same for another species--elephants.
You probably have heard that elephants have ways of showing affection for their family members and caretakers, but we find this news even sweeter: Elephants often live together in large families made up of babies, juveniles, and females--and are usually led by the oldest of these females (the grannies!), who stick with their broods for decades and play a really important social role.
http://www.upworthy.com/most-animals-dont-have-grandmas-but-elephants-do-and-what-granny-does-is-awesome?c=ufb1Posted by Jenny-Little Miss-Naughty Rawat on Wednesday, February 3, 2016
In fact, professor Phyllis Lee, who researched elephant grandmothers, was shocked to find that having a grandma made a huge difference in whether a new baby survived.
Lee, who looked at data from more than 800 individual elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park, found that elephant grandmas help protect the baby, keep track of it, and help it if it gets stuck. Acting as the boss of the family, they also lead the family to the right places to forage for food or drink, or lead the way when interacting with other elephant families.
Lee's work may also give us important clues about human evolution--like why women go through menopause.
In all, it's pretty fascinating--and makes us love our grandmas that much more.
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