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Walking with Giants
Graduate student Shermin de Silva studies Asian elephants in Sri Lanka.
June 29, 2010
Priya Ratneshwar and Patrick Boehmcke
Biology graduate student Shermin de Silva has spent several years studying the social structure and vocal communication of wild Asian elephants in Uda Walawe National Park in Sri Lanka. With the help of local research assistants, she has catalogued 300 females, recorded more than 3000 calls, and described 14 unique vocalizations. One of her papers on these vocalizations just came out in volume 147 (issue 7) of the journal Behaviour, and her recordings will be available to other researchers online through the Linguistics Data Consortium.
"The study of behavior is one of the most exciting things about biology. It's one of the things that gets every kid and grown-up interested in the natural world." -Shermin de Silva
In this audio slide show, hear de Silva discuss her research and view pictures from her field work.
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