Average lifespan in the wild: Up to 70 years
Size: Height at the shoulder, 8.2 to 13 ft (2.5 to 4 m)
Weight: 5,000 to 14,000 lbs (2,268 to 6,350 kg)
Group name: Herd
Protection status: Threatened
Three species make up the Elephantidea family. African and Asiatic elephants roam savannas and light forests while the African forest elephant mainly lives in African rain forests. African elephants are the largest animals on land. The Asian and African forest elephants are slightly smaller. African elephants also have larger ears, which are used for cooling their massive bodies.
What does a Elephant look like?
The elephant is the largest animal that lives on land. Some male elephants can grow to be thirteen feet tall. That's more than twice as tall as many human adults. Elephants can weigh as much as a school bus! Between ten and fourteen thousand pounds! Elephants smell, drink, eat, and wash themselves with their long trunks. They have tusks, teeth made of ivory, that help them get food and carry heavy objects. The most obvious characteristic of elephants, besides their massive size, is their trunk. The trunk is nothing more than an elongation of their nose and upper lip. Besides being used for breathing and smelling it is also used as an appendage, much like an arm or hand. Elephants are capable of pulling up to 11.5 liters (3 gallons) of water into the trunk to be sprayed into the mouth for drinking or onto the back for bathing. They also use two fingerlike projections that are at the tip to manipulate small objects and to pluck grasses.
Where do Elephants live?
Elephants can live in nearly any habitat that has adequate quantities of food and water. Their ideal habitat consists of plentiful grass and browse.
African and Asian elephant habitat includes grasslands, marshes, forests, deserts, and mountains. Herds wander continuously in search of food and water. They may travel 5,000 to 10,000 kilometers (3,100 to 6,200 miles) in one year within their home range, which may be over 1500 sq km (600 sq mi).
Elephants live in parts of the Savanna. The Savanna's main regions are Africa, North and South America, India and parts of Australia. Savannas cover 20% of the globe (not including oceans). The largest amount of Savannah is in Africa.
What does a Elephant eat?
Elephants eat an extremely varied vegetarian diet including grass, leaves, twigs, bark, fruit and seed pods. They especially like leaves from the top branches. They get the leaves by pushing down the trees with their large heads and bodies. Then they get the bark by scraping it with their sharp tusks. Elephants consume about 5% of their body weight and drink 30-50 gallons of water per day. Young elephants must learn how to draw water up their trunks and pour it into their mouths.
How do elephants communicate?
Smell is the most highly developed sense, but sound deep growling or rumbling noises is the principle means of communication. Some researchers think that each individual has its signature growl by which it can be distinguished. Sometimes elephants communicate with an ear-splitting blast when in danger or alarmed, causing others to form a protective circle around the younger members of the family group. Elephants make low-frequency calls, many of which, though loud, are too low for humans to hear. These sounds allow elephants to communicate with one another at distances of five or six miles.
Did You Know these facts about the elephant?
Elephants stomp when they walk.
Elephants sleep standing up.
Sometimes baby elephants lie down to sleep.
Elephants bathe. Sometimes the spray dirt on themselves to get the parasites off. Sometimes they bathe in mud
Elephants live in herds.
They cool off by fanning their ears. This cools the blood in their ears. That blood goes to the rest of their body and cools off the elephant.
They poop 80 pounds in one day.
Elephants weigh 10,000 pounds. It would take 250 students to add up to 10,000 pounds.
They collect food with their trunks.
Only grown up ladies and their babies live in the herds.
The daddy elephants leave the herd when they are 12 years old.
They fight with their tusks.
They eat grass and bark.
During the wet season they eat things low to the ground.
During the dry season they use their trunk to gather food from trees and bushes.
They suck up water into their trunks and shoot it into their mouths.
Elephants need lots of room to roam and eat. (Some of us think that this must mean they are not happy in the zoo or in the circus.)
They can run 24mph for short distances.
The elephant is distinguished by its high level of intelligence, interesting behavior, methods of communication and complex social structure.
Elephants seem to be fascinated with the tusks and bones of dead elephants, fondling and examining them. The myth that they carry them to secret "elephant burial grounds," however, has no factual base.
Elephants are very social, frequently touching and caressing one another and entwining their trunks.
Elephants demonstrate concern for members of their families they take care of weak or injured members and appear to grieve over a dead companion.
All elephants need salt. Savanna elephants get it from the vegetation they eat, but in rain forests the salt is washed away, forcing forest elephants to seek salt in undergound caves.
Elephants can receive and produce low frequency sounds, transmitting them over long distances to communicate with each other.
Download free Elephant wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Elephant wallpaper 1
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Elephant coloring pages
Download free Elephant coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.