African Elephant Facts

The African elephant is the largest land mammal

Average size of african elephant
5 – 7.5 m (16.4 – 24.6 ft)

Average Weight of african elephant
4 – 7 tonnes (3.9 – 6.9 tons)

Average age (life span) of african elephant
55 – 60 Yrs (Wild)
Over 80 yrs (in Captivity)

Diet of african elephant
African Elephants are herbivores  and they feed upon fruit, leaves, grass and bark. They will rip apart plants and push down trees in order to feed from them.

african elephant habitat
African Elephants are found on the savannah grasslands and desert areas of sub-saharan east and central Africa.

Natural predators (enemies) of african elephant
The main predator  to adult African Elephants are humans. Young elephants, especially new borns, are vulnerable to attack from lions  and crocodiles, and occasionally from leopards  and hyenas.

Indian elephants and African elephants are a totally different species

The Indian and African elephants are different, a Indian elephant has a twin domed forehead, 5 toenails,in front 4 in back, the African elephant has 4 toenails in front,3 in back,flat forehead,concave back, ears of African Elephants are also large from their Indian counterparts. Both male and female African elephants have tusks, although only male asian elephants have them.

The Elephant is the only animal to have four knees.


More Facts About African Elephants

Females, or cows, will reach a height of 9-10 feet tall at the shoulder. Males, or bulls, will grow to 10-12 feet tall at the shoulder. The cows are smaller, weighing 8,000-10,000 lbs. Bulls will weigh between 10,000 and 12,000 lbs. when full grown.
Life Span/Life Expectancy
60 – 70 years

The skin of an elephant can be from 0.25″-1.5″ thick to withstand blistering sun and torrential rains.

The basic color is a brownish-gray. But it will take on the shade of the local dirt (red, black, even dusty white) which they throw liberally on themselves to protect their skin from sunburn and insect bites.

African Elephant Habitat
The African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta Africana) is found in most African countries excluding the Sahara and tropical rainforest of the Congo.

African elephants live in a wide variety of habitats from the desert regions of western Niger and the Etosha Pans of Namibia to the grassy savannahs of East Africa westward into the forests of Central Africa.

The other African species is the reclusive Forest Elephant (Loxodonta Cyclotis). This species lives in small numbers in the dense rainforest of the Congo.

As the name implies, the bush Elephant principally inhabits the open savanna, but also ranges through forest fringe, swamp/river fringe and mountain regions up to the snowline.
African Elephant Range
African elephants are found in Africa south of the Sahara, throughout most of central, eastern, and southern africa.

Geographic Distribution: African elephants live in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, although their range is now broken into patches. Small numbers of forest elephants live in dense equatorial forests from Zaire west to Mauritania, while savanna elephants are far more widespread in drier woodlands and savannas.

Savanna elephants are now most common in Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa.

The location of African elephants are in the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi (ex), Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia (ex), Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau (ex), Kenya, Lesotho (ex), Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland (ex) {reint}, Tanzania, United Republic of, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

African Elephants Communication/Sounds
Elephants communicate by many different means, including visual displays (e.g – the classic elephant charge), chemical cues, tactile/touch displays, and a variety of sounds, including infrasound–sound too low in pitch for people to hear. Infrasound, produced in the larynx, can carry clearly over great distances–much farther than the loudest yell made by a human.

Researchers have noted that groups of elephants separated by several miles will often travel in synchrony. These group movements are probably coordinated by means of infrasound and chemical cues. Analysis of audio recordings has uncovered many distinct calls, meaning anything from “let`s go” to “I am in estrus – where are the bulls?”

Humans are only able to hear the uppermost range of the elephants’ calls. These would be the roars, trumpets, rumbles and squeaks or chirps.

Among many visual displays, a curled under trunk and outspread ears signal threat. When combined with a loud trumpet or roar, this usually signals that aggression is forthcoming.

The sense of smell is the other dominant sense, besides hearing, that the elephant relies on. Water and fresh vegetation can be ascertained from far away. Elephants probably can recognize other individuals by the scent of their urine and feces.

All elephants possess two small holes in the roof of their mouths, called vomeronasal organs. These detect pheremones, especially important in the breeding process. Bull elephants can tell when a female elephant is sexually receptive (in estrus) from pheremones in her urine. Since she is in estrus for only three days or so every four years, this accurate analysis is imperative for maximum reproductive success.

The trunk is used to expand the elephant`s sense of touch. Elephants will caress, slap and grab each other in different situations. A ritual form of greeting is for each elephant to put the tip of their trunk into the other`s mouth. This probably transfers chemical cues as well as tactile sensations).
African elephant`s ears
The ears are quite large and serve two purposes. The large ear flap can serve as a directional receiver to help the animal to pinpoint the direction of incoming calls. The large veins latticing the back of the ear flap are just under the thin skin and serve as a radiator to dispel heat from the brain and rest of the body (spraying the ears with water increases the cooling effect).
The Trunk
The trunk is a highly specialized organ consisting of the fusion and elongation of the nose and upper lip. It is a very delicate yet strong appendage, containing over 40,000 muscles and tendons. The sensitive tip ends in two fingerlike projections which can manipulate objects or pick up very small items. This trunk can also lift up objects of more than 400 pounds, and aids the elephant to reach plants that no other herbivore besides the giraffe can reach, allowing elephants to find food in areas that other animals cannot. Water (about 1.5 gallons) is sucked up more than halfway into the trunk and then blown into the mouth for a drink or onto the back for a cooling spray.
Using Tools
Elephants have been observed to be inventive in the use of objects as tools. They will use sticks, grasped in the trunk, to scratch areas of their body that the trunk or tail cannot reach. They have been seen digging with their tusks to reach underground water in drought areas, and after drinking their fill, will use a chewed up bundle of tree fibers as a cork to plug the hole to prevent it drying up, and they will continue to return to the well repeatedly to drink, corking it up each time.

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