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African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They are slightly
larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears
that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. (Asian elephants have
smaller, rounded ears.)
Elephant ears radiate heat to help keep these large animals cool, but
sometimes the African heat is too much. Elephants are fond of water
and enjoy showering by sucking water into their trunks and spraying
it all over themselves. Afterwards, they often spray their skin with
with a protective coating of dust.
An elephant's trunk is actually a long nose used for smelling, breathing,
trumpeting, drinking, and also for grabbing things—especially a
potential meal. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different
muscles. African elephants have two fingerlike features on the
end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items.
Both male and female African elephants have tusks they use to dig for
food and water and strip bark from trees. Males use the tusks to
battle one another, but the ivory has also attracted violence of
a far more dangerous sort
African elephants, unlike their Asian relatives, are not easily domesticated.
They range throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the rain forests of central
and West Africa. The continent’s northernmost elephants are found in
Mali’s Sahel desert. The small, nomadic herd of Mali elephants migrates
in a circular route through the desert in search of water. - National Geographic
Type: Mammal
Average life span in the wild: Up to 70yrs
Weight: 5000 to 14,000lbs (2268 to 6350kg)
Group Name: Heard
Protection Status: Vulnerable
Size relitive to a
6 ft (2m)man:
Elephant - Loxodonta africana
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