How Do Elephants Show Emotion?

elephants-show-emotion Credit: Blend Images/John Lund/Vetta/Getty Images

Elephants show emotion by playing games and greeting friends or family members when they are happy, and they bellow and blare in joy, according to the Public Broadcasting Service. They can also call each other from a quarter-mile away when reuniting after a long separation.

Elephants are very expressive animals that are capable of feeling joy, anger, grief, compassion and love. Scientists have discovered through years of research that elephants have the ability to form complex thoughts and deep emotions. These large animals have a strong emotional attachment toward their family members.

In the wild, elephants show their emotions in various ways, especially when they are with loved ones and friends. The birth of a baby elephant is one of their most joyous events. The reunion of related elephants who have been separated is also a dramatic event that involves a lively greeting ceremony. They welcome a formerly absent family member by calling each other from a distance with their pace quickening as they get closer. Fluid from their temporal glands flows down the sides of their faces as they run toward each other, screaming and trumpeting. Upon making contact, they lean on and rub each other, or they spin around, sometimes even urinating or defecating due to extreme happiness.