African Elephant

Loxodonta africana

Animals of All Regions Back
Known for their huge bodies, unique trunks, and long lives, elephants are the largest land animals in the world. They live in social groups called herds which are composed of related females, called cows, and their offspring. The leader of the herd is a female, usually the oldest, most experienced member of the herd. She decides the herd’s activities. The females stay with their female relatives for life, but young males leave the herd when they reach puberty, either traveling alone or in bachelor groups. Females will practice motherhood in the herd by being “aunts” to the calves.

Elephants will display dominance by raising their head, trunk and ears.They will also shake their heads and make trumpeting noises, followed by loud rumbles. They use their huge ears as fans, flapping them to cool themselves off, and their trunks perform a variety of jobs from spraying water and dust to picking up tiny objects to heavy lifting. Their tusks are actually their incisor teeth and they use them to dig, lift things, and protect themselves.  


Grass, herbs, bark of various trees, leaves and fruit
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