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Support Elephant Research!

by Mickey Pardo category: Environment

“Crowdfunding research "Do Asian elephants have grammar?" on microryza.com. Please help spread the message! http://thndr.it/1aU7uXB

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Mickey Pardo
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ينتهي نوفمبر 13, 12:00 مساءً EST

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This campaign ended on November 13 at 12PM

Support Elephant Research!

Asian elephants are unusually social and intelligent animals.  They make a wide variety of different sounds, but we know almost nothing about what these sounds mean.  Sometimes they combine calls into sequences.  Is this analogous to the way that humans combine words into sentences?  I am attempting to figure this out for my Ph.D.  Working in Uda Walawe National Park, Sri Lanka, I will record elephant calls, digitally manipulate the recordings, and play them back to the elephants.  By observing the elephants' reactions to different playbacks, I'll be able to tease apart the meanings of the different calls, and figure out why they combine calls together.  Grammar-like elements have never been found in the calls of any animals other than primates, so this could be a significant scientific breakthrough.  From a more practical standpoint, Asian elephants are an endangered species, and gaining a better understanding of elephant communication could greatly benefit their conservation.  For example, if we knew what elephant calls meant, we might be able to use recordings of certain calls to deter elephants from areas where they come into conflict with humans-- conflict that is often deadly for both parties.  But my research is extremely expensive, and my advisor's grants cannot be used for my research expenses.  I am trying to raise some of the funds for my research through the crowdfunding platform Microryza.  I have until December 6 to raise $6900, or I don't get any money at all (it's all or nothing).  The more people I reach, the better my chances of reaching my goal.  Please support this Thunderclap to help spread the word!

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    November 13, 2013
    Thank you so much everyone!  Because of your support, my Thunderclap has now been broadcast to an audience of more than 56,000
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Mickey Pardo

Since a very young age, I have been fascinated by animals and the natural world. As an undergraduate, I became particularly interested in the ways that animals communicate with each other, and I decided to delve into this for my Ph.D. at Cornell University. My ultimate dream is to work as a researcher in animal behavior and conservation. In my spare time (which I don't have much of as a grad student!) I enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and painting.

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