The basic unit of the herd is the immediate family. The herd is made up of the oldest and largest matriarch who leads her daughters and their offspring. A family can consist of anywhere between 2 and 50 elephants. Occasionally, other non-related females may be included in a herd, but this is rare.
The matriarch is the head of the family and the herd, regardless of whether the herd is made up of more members than her own family. The social structure and habits of females differ dramatically from those of males. Females adhere to the herd structure, while males tend to follow far more fluid regulations.
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