National Geographic : 2008 Sep
group dynamics More than 40 elephant families, whimsically named, each unique, inhabit the Samburu-Laikipia ecosystem. The roster includes these: THE FIRST LADIES With their leader Eleanor dead, they have lost standing among other groups and may split. THE PLANETS This large family has subgroups led by Saturn, Gaia, and Dunia (Swahili for Earth). THE ROYALS They carry birthmarks, showing in some calves as pinkish legs and feet. THE BIBLICAL TOWNS Babylon, the big, old matriarch, steady and nurturing, holds her family together firmly. THE VIRTUES Serenity was shot, her orphaned calves later adopted by Rosemary of the Spice Girls. THE SPICE GIRLS Clover and Rosemary hang tightly together, although they aren't close relatives. THE WINDS They seem to have synchronized their cycles of calving: Cousins are born about the same time. THE CLOUDS Tracking data have revealed a special affinity between them and another family, the Storms. THE POETICS They tend to be smallish, with long, thin tusks. Emily and Sylvia, elderly sisters, serve as co-matriarchs.