African Elephant facts

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    The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the largest land mammal in the world and one of nature’s great ecosystem engineers, being a major contributor to maintaining the balance between wooded and grass ecosystems.

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    African Elephant Facts in a nutshell

    African Elephants are the largest land animals on earth. Slightly larger than their Asian family member their most obvious identification difference is their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. Asian elephants have smaller, rounded ears.

  •  African savannah elephants drinking at a waterhole

    Credit: Eric Isselee /

    If you think there's no way a huge elephant could fear a mouse, you'd be correct... sort of.

    From the movie "Dumbo" to Saturday morning cartoons, the image of an elephant cowering from a minuscule mouse is pretty well established. But the elephant's fear has more to do with the element of surprise than the mouse itself.
    Theories abound that elephants are afraid of mice because the tiny creatures nibble on their feet or can climb up into their trunks. However, there's no evidence to back up either of those claims.

  • Elephant ears

     An elephant, being so enormous and with so much bare skin exposed to the sun, it is very difficult to hide under trees. Fortunately, evolution has played its part over the years by making their ears larger. Elephants do have great hearing, though this is not the sole purpose of the ears. As the elephant grows, the size of the ears increases and so does the surface area.

  • elephants trunks photo credit CC0 Public Domain

    Elephants are huge and therefore they have to eat a lot every day. Adults consume an average of 200 kilograms of food each day—most of it vegetation. Because of their enormous appetite, elephants must be able to eat a wide variety of food, whether small or large.

    However, even though they look clumsy, elephants can quickly and easily grab and very quickly eat small objects. But how do they pick up and eat things like grain or even flour with only a trunk as cutlery?

  • Elepahant wrinkles web

    The animal’s crevice-filled skin helps keep it cool

    The intricate network of crevices seen on the African elephant's skin helps it retain moisture and stay cool

  • male elephant dating nationalgeographic

    Female elephants thwart a male attempting to mate with a small female. Photo: Michael Nichols, Nat Geo Image Collection

    Males of many species slow down in their pursuit of females as they age. Not so with elephants. Studies reveal that bull elephants increase the energy they put into reproduction as they get older.

    In fact, elderly males invest much more effort in tracking down and mating with females than do younger male elephants, according to a new study.




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