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  • Writer's pictureArnold Schroder

#13: What elephants can teach us about civil war

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

(10/05/ 2020) Elephants are changing. The various traumas of extermination—witnessing the deaths of their companions, developing in atypical social structures—are making elephants more aggressive. In this episode, we discuss the relationship between resilience and adverse experience, the developmental plasticity of thresholds for aggression, and the notion of an envelope of stress tolerance. Faced with a panoply of intensifying, existential threats, we ask where and when people will find the rage that elephants are finding.

Bibliography for episode #13:

Bourgois, P. (2003) In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio. Cambridge University Press.

Bradshaw, G. A., Schore, A. N., Brown, J. L., Poole, J. H., & Moss, C. J. (2005). Elephant breakdown. Nature 433(7028): 807–807. doi:10.1038/433807a

Bradshaw, G. A. & Schore, A. N. (2007) How elephants are opening doors: Developmental neuroethology, attachment, and social context. Ethology 113:426-436. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0310.2007.01333.x

Bradshaw, G. A. (2009) Elephants on the Edge: What Elephants Teach Us About Humanity. Yale University Press.

Gariepy, J. L., Bauer, D. J., & Cairns, R. B. (2001) Selective breeding for differential aggression in mice provides evidence for heterochrony in social behaviours. Animal Behaviour 61:933–947. doi:10.1006/anbe.2000.1700

Herringa, R. J., et al. (2013) Childhood maltreatment is associated with altered fear circuitry and increased internalizing symptoms by late adolescence. PNAS 110(47):19119-19124.

Junger, S. (2016) Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging. Twelve.

Klein, D. B., & Western, A. Voter registration of Berkeley and Stanford faculty. Academic Questions Winter 2004-5:53-65.

McComb, K., et al. (2001) Matriarchs As Repositories of Social Knowledge in African Elephants. Science 292, 491. DOI: 10.1126/science.1057895

Shannon, G., et al. (2013) Effects of social disruption in elephants persist decades after culling. Frontiers in Zoology 10:62.

Slotow, R., Balfour, D., & Howison, O. (2001) Killing of black and white rhinoceroses by African elephants in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, South Africa. Pachyderm 31:14-20.

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