African Elephant

Loxodonta Africana

African Elephant

Weight: Males ±6000kg, Females ±3500kg's
Longevity: 60 years.

Behavior

African Elephants are the largest living land mammals. Even though these animals are so large they are usually extremely gentle animals, and often show competition when encountering other dead animals. When elephants come across the remains of other elephants they are know to spent time feeling and looking at the remains. It is said they are trying to identify and remember the individual.

They are active both diurnally and nocturnally.

Elephants have four sets of molar teeth. When one set is worn away the next set comes forward. When the last set is worn away the animal is unable to eat and will often starve to death.

The tusks found on the elephant's face are actually modified incisor teeth. These tusks are used for protection, fighting, and helping to acquire food.

Social Structure

Elephants can be found solitarily, in small bachelor herds, or in family herds. 

The family herd is usually made up of cows(females) and their young. Often bachelor herds, and solitary males can be found on the outskirts of these herds. Family herds are lead by an older female, known as the matriarch. It is her job to lead the herd to water and food sources.  

Diet

African elephant are herbivores, they are browsers as well as grazers. They eat upto 150kgs of food daily, and spend nearly 80% of the day feeding. One of their favourite sources of food is tree bark, because of this they destroy a huge number of trees.

They also consume 100l of water daily.
 

Breeding

Elephants breed throughout the year. They give birth to a single calf after a gestation period of 22 months.

Calves take a few years before they are able to use their truck properly. 

Threats

Elephants biggest threat is humans, through habitat loss and poaching. Elephants are poached for their tusks.
Upto 20 000 elephants are poached per year.

WTFacts

Elephants are said to be left or right handed as they favour one side over the other.