Elephants are the largest of all land mammals. There
two primary kinds of elephants, Asian Elephants and
African Elephants. Both, Asian and African Elephants
are two of the largest land animals.
Asian Elephants are actually much smaller than African
Elephants. Male African Elephants grow to a height of
10-13 feet and weigh approximately 15,000 lbs. Male
Asian Elephants grow to a height of 10 feet and weigh
approximately 11,000 lbs.
Elephants are herbivorous, meaning that elephants only
eat plants, their diet consists of vegetation including
grass, leaves, fruit and bark. Elephants spend an average
of 16 hours a day eating.
Elephants have prehensile trunks. An elephants trunk
has a whopping 100,000 muscles, giving it an amazing
amount of flexibility. Elephants will sometimes use
their tusks to fell trees and uproot shrubs. Elephants
use their trunks to drink, trumpet, breath, grasp items,
show affection, fighting and to smell. An elephants
smell is highly developed. Elephants can communicate
with each other at a distance of 5-6 miles, using low
frequency calls that cannot be heard by humans.
The upper incisor in an elephant’s mouth forms long
tusks made of ivory. All African Elephants have tusks
while only Male Asian Elephants have tusks. An elephants
tusks are an indication of an elephants age, as the
tusks grow throughout the elephants life. Elephants
have a complex social structure, they are affectionate
and social. An elephant will show their affection by
entwining trunks and caressing each other.
African Elephants have ears that are bigger than an
Asian Elephant. Elephants use movement of their ears
to signal anger or warn of danger. An Elephant’s ears
are also use to control body temperature. Elephants
use their ears as fans to cool their body in the heat
of the day. An Elephant’s eyesight is relatively poor.
Adult male elephants are called bulls, while adult
female elephants are cows and a baby elephant are referred
to as a calves. Elephants form small family groups known
as herds.The herd is usually lead by the most senior
Male elephants are expelled from the herd at 12-15
years of age, while females mature sexually at 11 years
of age and usually stay with their herd. The young males
though they are sexually mature, do not actually mate
until their mid 20’s.
Elephants typically only have a single calf at a time.
An elephants gestation is 22 months. African Elephants
give birth to a single calf every two to four years.
A newborn African Elephant calf weigh 200 lbs and is
around 3 feet tall. Orphaned calves are usually adopted
by other females in the head. Elephant mothers are attentive
keeping their offspring with them for many years.
Elephants have faced a depleting population in African
due to overhunting and the spread of the desert. Elephants
are able to adapt to almost any habitat but poachers
have made their ability to thrive difficult.
Elephants typically live to 60-70 years
About the Author
Jacob Maddox manages content for Wildlife Animals http://www.wildlife-animals.com
an educational wildlife and animal website. Jacob also
guest writes for Dog Pound http://www.dog-pound.net