Sunday, May 5, 2013

The African Elephant


Elephants are the largest land animals. They can grow to be between 10 and 13 feet tall at the shoulder, and usually weigh between 8,000 and 24,000 pounds, depending on the species. Female elephants tend to be slightly smaller than male elephants.


Perhaps one of the world’s most emotive and iconic animals, the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the largest living terrestrial mammal, with the largest recorded individual reaching a massive four metres at the shoulder and weighing an impressive ten tonnes (2). The African elephant’s brain is bigger than that of any other animal and its skull is exceptionally large, having evolved to support the trunk and the heavy teeth and jaws. Arkive.Org


The herbivorous creatures also lead long lives, generally living to between 50 and 70 years, although some captive elephants may live into their eighties.


The skull of the African elephant is huge, making up 25% of its body weight. African elephants grow throughout their lives, but the rate slows after sexual maturity. The upper lip and nose of the African elephant are extended to form the trunk. African elephants use sounds well below the range of human hearing to communicate over long distances.

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