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Animal naming comes almost naturally to humans. It could be done out of affection or a need to categorise them and give them a sort of identity. However, it turns out that a novel discovery in the field of zoology has revealed that certain animal species are able to give names to one another. Researchers have found that African savannah elephants use low, rumbling sounds as names for one another. Elephants in some of Kenya's elephant reserves seem to call to one another by individual names, which are distinct sounds that are particular to each member of the social group, according to the scientists who study the elephants there. However, the callers' appropriate responses from the recipients gave the impression that they were a name.

For the study, 527 sounds from the Samburu ecosystem in the north and 98 sounds from the Amboseli National Park in the south of Kenya were recorded by the researchers. The team identified which members of groups of female elephants and their young had broken away from their herd when a sound was made or had approached when the call was made in order to ascertain which vocalisations belonged to a particular individual. Ultimately, 119 distinct rumbles were identified by the scientists. 

Even though the sounds of the elephant rumbles might seem similar at first, the researchers have trained an artificial intelligence system to distinguish minute variations in each vocalisation. Of the 625 recorded calls, 20.3% have their receivers correctly identified so far. It's interesting to note that the calls were specific to the recipient rather than being general noises directed at moms or babies. Compared to simple messages between a caller and a receiver, a more pronounced pattern was observed when callers in groups made similar sounds to the same recipient. Furthermore, the researchers found that elephants reacted more strongly to recordings of calls that were initially directed at them than to calls from other elephants—a response that is strikingly similar to that of a name. 

Elephants are the first non-human animals to name one another thanks to these groundbreaking discoveries. Even though there is still more research to be done, zoologists are enthusiastic about the potential breakthroughs this could provide regarding animal communication. It might be far more complicated than previously believed, and it might also be the one factor reshaping their communities in ways we never could have predicted. 

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