Groups of animals with older female leaders, or matriarchs, very quickly organized themselves into a defensive cluster when they heard a male lion.
Researchers played recordings to wild African elephants. At the sound of a human voice, elephants are able to differentiate between males of different local tribes, and can tell an adult from a child.
When the team played recordings of different ethnic voices through a camouflaged loudspeaker, they found that elephant family groups reacted more fearfully in response to the voice of a one tribal group than another, retreating and bunching together defensively. The adult male voices they had learned to fear triggered far more of these defensive reactions than the voices of women or boys.
What about the role of an elderly person in human society? How do humans react to a person with accumulated wisdom?
Some of the lucky aging people are cared for within their own family, but most in England are alone and end up living in a so-called 'retirement home'. Relatives want to get on with their busy lives.
I think elderly people should play an important role in society. We need to pay attention to what occurred earlier so bad experiences aren't repeated.
Since his retirement, my husband can't get enough television programs about WW1 & WW2. He's drawn to finding out what went wrong and why the horrific events took place.
In many cultures like China and India, elderly people are held in high regard. They're the patriarchs or matriarchs of the family in a similar way to the older elephants living within their group.
Should we take more notice of the accumulated wisdom of our elders?