The great african elephant


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All the information you need, or wanted to know about the African elephant.

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The great african elephant

  1. 1. The Great African Elephant
  2. 2. Behind the African Elephant … The African elephant is essentially divided into two different species, namely the African bush elephant and the smaller African forest elephant. Considered one of the largest mammals to walk the earth, it is an animal that is revered in countries such as South Africa, affectionately being referred to as one of the “Big five”.
  3. 3. What about those elephant ears ? The African Elephant’s characteristic large ears are not just there for show and tell, but help to keep this mammoth creature from over-heating. Its large ears essentially cool the elephant down, as the African heat can often be unbearable. There are many images that depict the elephant frolicking in the African waters spraying it all over themselves, this is another cooling method. After this display, they often shower themselves with dust, another method of keeping themselves cool in the African sun.
  4. 4. It’s all about the nose … The African elephant’s trunk is just another name for nose. Not only does this animal use its trunk to splash itself with water, but it’s used to smell, breath and for grabbing things. While we might not be able to grab things with our nose, the elephant uses this to snatch its next meal from the tree tops. Along with its enormous weight, the elephant has approximately 100 000 different muscles in its trunk alone.
  5. 5. The African Elephant tusks One of the most prominent features that the African elephant possesses is its trunk. Many consider this feature of the elephant to be valuable, and as such, has spawned a black market for the ivory trade. Both males and female are equipped with tusks which are used to dig for food and water, and strip trees of their bark. Additionally, the males use their tusks to battle each other and is often during mating season. Because the tusks of elephants are so valuable to humans, thousands of African elephants have been killed for their tusks. The trading if this valuable resource is not legal, and has contributed to the poaching of thousands of African elephants.
  6. 6. Baby African Elephants While male elephants often roam around on their own, females stick to what is referred to as a herd. When pregnant, female elephants, or cows, have a longer pregnancy than any other mammal. With 22-months to go before the calf is born, females usually give birth every two to four years. At birth calves tend to weigh around 91 kilograms and stand at one metre tall.
  7. 7. Facts about African Elephants • As mentioned before, female elephants live in a herd of about 10 individuals. This herd is overseen by the matriarch, or the oldest female in the herd, they tend to help each other search for food and care for calves. • Elephants not lie down to sleep as their legs give them enough support. • They can communicate between herds that are located a number of kilometres away using sounds that are too low for the human ears. • Herds are the perfect example of a closely knit animal family, as a female will only leave the heard if she passes on. • The normal lifespan of an elephant is 60 – 80 years, and while elephant graveyards cannot be supported with hard evidence, death is surprisingly important to them.
  8. 8. More Facts … • Elephants and humans are the only animals that are known to have death rituals. If an elephant in the herd passes on, the herd will keep very quiet and often dig shallow graves, covering the deceased elephant with dirt and branches. They often stay at the grave for days of the elephant’s death. • Elephants are considered one of the most intelligent animals on earth, with their brain weighing approximately five kilograms. This is more than any other land animal. • Elephants often show grief, humour, compassion, co-operation, playfulness and excellent learning abilities.
  9. 9. The difference between the African and Asian Elephant … • Weight: The African elephant weighs between 4000 – 7000kg; while the Asian Elephant weighs approximately 3000 – 6000kg. • Ears: The African elephant’s ears are much larger, while the Asian elephant is equipped with much smaller ears. • Back Shape: The Asian elephant is equipped with a back that is convex or straight; the African elephant as a back that is concave.
  10. 10. The Difference Continued … • Head Shape: The African elephant’s head is not crumpled (from front to back) with no humped structures or dents. The Asian elephant on the other hand has humped structures on its head, along with a dented forehead. • Tusks: The tusks of the African elephant is bigger in males, but both genders are equipped with their signature tusks. In females, the Asian elephant only has rudimental tusks, while the males are equipped with tusks.
  11. 11. For more information visit the Woodall Addo Website