What elephants may be lacking most of all is not language but the Rosetta Stone to prove they have it and clue us in to what on God’s green earth they’re talking about all the time…. They have a vocal range of ten octaves (a piano has seven), and up to three-quarters of the sounds they produce are inaudible to human ears.
Caitrin Nicol Keiper’s remarkable essay – titled as per this pointer to it – is lengthy, erudite, fascinating, poignant and provocative.
I’ve only just read/noticed it – as has The New York Times – but it was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2013 edition of The New Atlantis.
I urge you to read all of it.
The essay also has many live links well worth clicking, and leads worth pursuing.
You should also hear June Tabor’s extraordinary setting of Les Barker’s Elephant. (on Tabor’s 1992 album Angel Tiger. Huw Warren is pianist, Mark Lockheart plays the coda)