Elephants Are Afraid of Bees

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Elephants might not actually be terrified of mice, but they do have one serious animal phobia -- they hate bees. In fact, scientists recently discovered that the massive pachyderms have a special alarm call reserved for times when one of the herd hears the distinctive buzzing of a hive.

Researcher Karen McComb from the University of Sussex points out, "It's an important finding. It not only provides the first demonstration that elephants use alarm calls but also shows that these may have very specific meanings."

As it turns out, their fears are not unfounded. Angry swarms of African bees can sting elephants around their eyes and inside their trunks, and they can also pierce the skin of young calves.

[Image courtesy of ebatty's Flickr stream.]

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