It's not mice that really gives them the heebie-jeebies but rather, it seems that elephants do not like ants. The Telegraph reports that ants on the African savannah guard acacia trees from being decimated by hungry elephants. If the beast approaches one of these trees, the ants will swarm up its trunk.
"The researchers stumbled onto the discovery after noticing that one species of acacia tree, Acacia drepanolobium, was seldom bothered by elephants. ''We thought that was really interesting because we often see elephants feeding on other species of trees that do not harbour ants,'' said Prof Palmer. The scientists carried out tests in which some of the trees were stripped of their ants. They also ''added'' ants to one of the elephants' favourite tree foods, a different Acacia species called A. mellifera. ''When either tree species had ants on them, the elephants avoided those trees like a kid avoids broccoli,'' said Prof Palmer."
The rest of the report is here.
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