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Fascinating facts about African Elephants

African elephants are the world’s largest land animals. The biggest can be up to 7.5m long, 3.3m high at the shoulder, and 6 tonnes in weight. The elephant remains an unfortunate target of the poaching underworld and various conservancies across Kenya are constantly monitored to help keep poaching at a minimum level.

  1. There are only two distinct species of elephant left in the world: The African elephant and the Asian elephant.
  2. The trunk is an extension of the upper lip and nose and is used for communication and handling objects, including food. African elephants have two opposing extensions at the end of their trunks, in contrast to the Asian elephant, which only has one.

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Tusks, which are large modified incisors that grow throughout an elephant’s lifetime, occur in both males and females and are used in fights and for marking, feeding, and digging.

3. The other notable feature of African elephants is their very large ears, which allow them to radiate excess heat.

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4. The elephant’s gestation period is 22 months – longer than any other land animal in the world. A new born human baby weighs an average of 7 pounds while a new born elephant baby can weigh up to 260 pounds! The baby can stand up shortly after being born.

MORE FUN FACTS:

Life Span – elephants can live for up to 70 years
The Africa Elephant is the largest of all land mammals
Elephants normally walk about 4 mph
Elephants are able to swim for long distances
Elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating
They consume as much as 300-495 pounds of food per day
They live in tight social units led by an older matriarch
Males leave the herd between the ages of 12 and 15
Their tusks are of ivory and are actually enormously enlarged incisors
The elephant’s eyes are small and its eyesight is poor
They have the largest brains in the animal kingdom
The elephant’s foot is a spongy pad with four or five toes and toenails. The pad acts like a      cushion with each step, absorbing the impact and taking some strain off the leg.
One ear from a bull African elephant weighs more than 100 pounds
Elephants do not have sweat glands.
Elephants have 6 sets of molar teeth; when the last set is lost, the animal is unable to eat and eventually dies.
Elephants can give birth every three to four years. Gestation period is almost two years. Babies are roughly 250 pounds when born
An elephant’s trunk is actually a long nose used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and also for grabbing things-especially a potential meal. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different muscles. African elephants have two fingerlike features on the end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items.
Height at the shoulder, 8.2 to 13 ft (2.5 to 4 m)
Weight: 5,000 to 14,000 lbs (2,268 to 6,350 kg)

Ref: http://www.soselephants.org/fun_facts.html

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