IntroductionHere you will find information about the amazing African elephant; the true king of the jungle. Below we list numerous interesting facts about this huge animal. These facts will include basic information like what they eat and how long they live, and some weird information that will be of interest to adults and kids alike.
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Basic African Elephant Facts
- They are the largest land mammal alive today.
- They are also referred to as African savanna elephants and African bush elephants.
- The African Elephants scientific name is Loxodonta Africana.
- Males can weigh over 13,000 pounds (6,048 kg) and can be up to thirteen feet (4 meters) tall at the shoulder.
- Both male and females of this species have tusks that can be up to two meters long (6.5 feet). The tusks are actually upper incisor teeth.
- These animals are herbivores and eat over three hundred pounds of food daily. They spend most of their day (often up to eighteen hours) searching for food such as grass, plants, and bark to eat.
- Elephants drink a lot of water. They have been known to drink two hundred liters (52.8 gallons) of water at a single time.
- African elephants are found only in limited areas in southern Africa. They use to inhabit almost all of sub-Sahara Africa.
- There are two elephant species. The African elephants and the smaller Asian elephants. At one point there were approximately 150 species.
- These animals do not have great eyesight but do have a very good sense of smell and hearing.
Interesting African Elephant Facts
- Referred to as "gentle giants" these animals can be extremely dangerous. This is especially the case when sick, wounded, or defending their young.
- Male and female African elephants look very similar; however if you look closely you will notice the males have a generally round head compared to the females squarer head.
- The biggest threat to the survival of this species is humans. Poachers hunt them for their ivory tusks, which are extremely valuable.
- Very few predators will attack a healthy adult African elephant. However lions and hyenas will prey on the sick and young.
- An elephant's trunk is an amazing thing. The trunk has over 40,000 muscles and is used to smell, grab food and other objects, lift, drink, dig, and balance. Finger-like appendages at the tip of the trunk are able to pick up very small objects like twigs.
- When an elephant charges an enemy or a perceived threat its large ears flap back and forth making it look even more large and fearsome. This flapping is believed to be for the purpose of cooling the animal off as its stress level rises.
- African Elephants communicate with each other through a type of growling noise. To signal danger they produce a loud ear-splitting sound. They are also known to produce very low frequency noises that can travel up to 7 kilometers (4.3 miles).
- African Elephants have a life span about as long as human beings.
- African elephants love wading in water and taking mud baths.
- Females of this species are very good and protective mothers. They keep their young with them for many years teaching them and protecting them from Africa's many predators.