Elephants, the largest of all land animals in the world mostly found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia. If we describe each parts of their body it is like as massive bodies and heads, thick, pillar like legs, and broad, short padded feet, with toes bearing heavy, hoof like nails and fan like ears with a long hose like trunk. Mostly of them have grey loose skins but tough and hairless.
Elephants are beautiful creature and extremely intelligent, there is saying that they have a very sharp memory as they remember everything. It is this memory that serves matriarchs well during dry seasons when they need to guide their herds, sometimes for tens of miles, to watering holes that they remember from the past. They are gentle animals but sometime they attack if they feel any danger towards them or their offspring.
Recent discoveries have shown that elephants can communicate over long distances by producing a sub-sonic rumble that can travel over the ground faster than sound through air. Other elephants receive the messages through the sensitive skin on their feet and trunks. It is believed that this is how potential mates and social groups communicate.
Types of Elephants
Elephant Species, it is estimated that there were once more than 350 species of elephants in the world. Today we only have two of them left – the Asian and the Africa species.
The African elephant is the largest of the two species left in the world. They have extremely large ears and both the males and the females grow tusks. Male African elephants are the largest extant terrestrials animals and can reach a height of 4 m (13 ft) and weigh 7,000 kg (15,000 lb).
The Asian elephant has a huge body but with ears that are smaller than others. The males develop tusks but the females don’t.
All elephants have several distinctive features, the most notable of which is a long trunk used for many purposes, particularly breathing, lifting water and grasping objects. Their incisors grows into tusks, which can serve as weapons and as tools for moving objects and digging. Elephants’ large ear flaps help to control their body temperature. Their pillar-like legs can carry their great weight.
Elephant Family can be divided into 3 main group
- Young Elephants (Calves)
- Female Elephants (Cow)
- Male Elephants (Bull)
Elephant group is called a herd. In which calves are the herd attention, they always group with their mother elephant or the group of other cow elephants with their offspring. Male Elephants or the bulls leave their group when they reach adulthood either they roam alone or the group of other male elephants. They only interact with the family group when they have to mate or gain dominance on the cow elephants.
Elephants are herbivorous animals and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts and marshes.They prefer to stay near water. They eat grasses, leaves, bamboo, bark, roots. Elephants are also known to eat crops like banana and sugarcane which are grown by farmers. Adult elephants eat 300-400 lbs of food per day.
Elephant Natural Habitat
Elephants are able to survive in a variety of different locations because of the huge variety of food sources that they consume. Many people assume that elephants that are in the wild only live in the grasslands. While that is one of their main habitats, they can also be found in the desert of the Savannah, forest areas, where there are swamps, and everything in between.
They form emigrational paths that they continue to follow year after year. This allows them to take advantage of the foods that grow in various areas. The paths that they walk are clearly there just like a road and they are fascinating to see when you are looking at areas that don’t have any clear pathways other than these from the elephants as they roam around.
At the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants. Today, there are an estimated 450,000 to 700,000 African elephants and between 35,000 – 40,000 wild Asian elephants.
Mating Season: Mostly during the rainy season.
Gestation: 22 months.
Child : 1 calf (twins rare).
Calves weigh between 200-250 lbs at birth. At birth, a calf’s trunk has no muscle tone, therefore it will suckle through its mouth. It takes several months for a calf to gain full control of its trunk.
Facts About Elephants
- There are two types of elephant, the Asian elephant and the African elephant.
- Elephants are the largest land-living mammal in the world.
- Both female and male African elephants have tusks but only the male Asian elephants have tusks. They use their tusks for digging and finding food.
- Female elephants are called cows. They start to have calves when they are about 12 years old and their gestation period is 22 months.
- An elephant can use its tusks to dig for ground water.
- Elephants have large, thin ears. Their ears are made up of a complex network of blood vessels which help regulate their temperature.
- The elephant’s trunk is able to sense the size, shape and temperature of an object. An elephant uses its trunk to lift food and suck up water then pour it into its mouth.
- An elephant’s trunk can grow to be about 2 meters long and can weigh up to 140 kg. Some scientists believe that an elephant’s trunk is made up of 100,000 muscles, but no bones.
- Female elephants spend their entire lives living in large groups called herds. Male elephant leave their herds at about 13 years old and live fairly solitary lives from this point.
- Elephants can swim – they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
- Elephants are herbivores and can spend up to 16 hours days collecting leaves, twigs, bamboo and roots. An adult elephant needs to drink around 210 litres of water a day.