AFRICAN ELEPHANT FACTS
- Scientific name: Loxodonta
- Conservation Status: Vulnerable
- Lifespan: 60-70 years
- Mass: African Bush Elephant up to 6000 kg; African Forest Elephant up to 2700 kg
- Height: Up to 3.3 m
More About African Elephants:
There are 2 extant species of African Elephant. The African Bush Elephant and the African Forest Elephant. The two differ mainly in size. The African Bush Elephant is the largest living terrestrial animal standing up to 3.3 m and weighing up to 6000 kg. The African Forest Elephant is the third largest living terrestrial which reaches heights of 2.5 m and a mass of up to 2700 kg.
African elephants are found in East, Central and West Africa, amongst forests, woodlands, scrub, and deserts. They live in family units of up to 10 females and their calves, plus one elder female called the “matriarch”.
The gestation period for an elephant calf is 22 months, after which it is cared for by their mother and several females called “allomothers”. Pregnant females generally carry one calf at a time and has nearly a 5-year break between pregnancies.
African Elephants Facts & Tidbits
- An elephant’s brain is the largest of any other land mammal’s. Its weight is over 5 kg!
- An elephant’s tusks are actually enlarged incisors and they use them for digging up roots, scraping bark off of trees, defense and also for fighting during mating season.
- Elephants have 4 molars which break apart as they wear down. The molar will fall out in pieces making way for a new one. This occurs between 4 and 6 times in an elephant’s lifetime.
- These elephants use their large ears to control their body temperature and keep them cool under the African sun!
African elephants are found in Central, East and West Africa, and they live in forests, shrubs, desert, and woodland areas.
Status of the African Elephant
The African Elephant is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Their biggest threats include illegal poaching and killing for the ivory of their tusks.
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