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Elephants

  • 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?

  • Central African elephant Photo by Stephen Blake Ph

    There are dire consequences to leaving elephant populations unprotected.

    As megaherbivores, forest elephants have a significant effect on the environment around them. According to new research, their impact also extends to tree populations and carbon levels in the forest.

    Up to now the significance of these ecosystem engineers’ dining habits on the carbon stocks in Africa’s rainforests remained largely unknown.

    A new study found that in a less dense forest due to the presence of elephants will lead to changes in the competition for light, water and space among trees thereby affecting carbon levels which will have significant implications for climate and conservation policies.

  •  elephants console each other photo sophie47 web

    In the early hours of Saturday morning, rangers at the Khao Yai National Park in Thailand heard loud elephant calls coming from a ravine.

    They arrived at a grim scene: six dead elephants, seemingly killed by a raging waterfall known as Haew Narok—or “Hell’s Abyss.”

    No one witnessed the incident, but track patterns at the site, along with elephants’ known tendency to form close social bonds, lead park officials to believe that a calf fell over the waterfall and five adults died while trying to save it.

  • elephants compassion

    “Elephants are extremely social, long-lived beings whose intelligence is informed by deep memories and passions”, says Katy Payne.

    The extent to which elephants' emotions are shared is especially striking. This is reflected in their patterns of calling during periods of searching, finding, celebrating, comforting and helping one another.

  • elephant ancients path pixabay

    Elephants travel along ancient routes that have been followed for generations. They cross rivers only because they know what lies on the other side. Like us, their long lives and excellent memories enable them to accumulate a huge store of knowledge. And like us too, their strong family bonds allow them to share this knowledge between themselves.

  • Elephants are intelligent, emotional and like humans, they have a personal space that they do not like being invaded. They appreciate silence, patience and slow, consistent movements. It is important to read their body language and let common sense prevail when in their presence.

    Although there are many more, we’ve highlighted seven classic elephant behaviours:

    Standing tall Tim Driman

    Standing Tall (threat behaviour)

    Elephants normally stand or move about with eyes cast down. A direct gaze with eyes open is a component of many displays. A typical posture used mainly by females in challenging non-elephant threats, such as predators and people, would be standing or moving with the head held well above the shoulders, the chin raised ( as opposed to tucked in) and looking down at her adversary over her tusks with an eyes-open-stare and ears maximally forward. The animal appears to increase in height and sometimes deliberately stand upon and object such as a log or anthill in order to increase its height. The elephant means: I’ve got you in my sights, so watch it!

 

 

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