When I decided to do my project on elephants, I didn't have particular quesitons in mind. I just love reading about them and learning everything I can.
After reading some of the San Diego Zoo's website (http://www.sandiegozoo.org/elephantcam/index.html), and viewing their webcam some questions came to mind about the herd itself. I wondered how when elephants where put into the zoo, how they created their herds. I wondered if African elephants were friendly with the Asian elephants and if they even realized amont themselves if there were differences. To answer this question I emailed an "expert" through ask an expert on expertcentral.com.
Since there is so much information about elephants both wild and housed in zoos, it is hard to really narrow down a focus for my search. I wonder certain things about the herds in the zoos, but then I also like to read about their herd behavior in the wilde. I like the facts on the zoo boards at the elephant displays that talk about how the male elephant leaves the herd upon reaching a certain age and travels to visit other herds to mate with. I find it fascinating that a female elephant is pregnant for 22 months (no, thank you!) and how when the babies are born the can stand right away to eat.
After reading what I just typed, I think I just make my subtopic "life in the herd" and include both behaviors in the zoo as well as in the wild. That way I can compare these two.
A few questions to be answered in a addition to the one I asked the "expert" are:
1. How is a herd started?
2. Can a herd ever be too big to where it needs to separate into smaller herds?
3. Who is in charge in the herd? Who makes the decisions?
4. Elephants are said to mourn their dead. How does the herd do this?
5. Do elephants have any other "human" like behavior?
6. How does the herd defend itself from predators?
Well, I think that wraps up my wondering....
On a side note about the project in general, I am feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of work this project entails. I now understand why my students freak out on me when I introduce projects to them. They just want to know what to do first or next....that is how I am feeling. Upon looking at the "Evaluation" list of what all has to be done, I nearly had an anxiety attack....I am hoping that by following the 8 W's, doing the 4 technology steps, commenting on others blogs, and putting my findings into a PowerPoint or Brochure for the final product that I will have completed the project.