Mother knows best: Ancient elephants followed a female leader

Today's elephant herds, just like their ancient brethren, follow a female leader. Complicated matriarchal herds in Asia and Africa can easily be found in Chobe National Park, a destination on our Southern Africa: Extravagent Rail safari. According to this article, researchers recently discovered a 260-meter-long trackway of elephant prints from 7 million years ago. By comparing the size and spacing of the prints to modern day elephants, researchers were able to determine that a group of six female elephants made the ancient footprints. Mature males lived mostly solitary lives, and only joined a herd to mate, as they do now.