Tuesday, November 9, 2010

African Elephant

The african elephant are species of elephant found in Africa.  There are two species recognized.  The african elephant is bigger than the asian elephant, making it one of the largest land animal.  

Physical Features                                      The trunk of an african elephant.  
Africa elephants are bigger than asian elephants.  Males are bigger than females.  Males weigh about 6000 kilograms and stand 13 feet tall.  Females weigh about 3000 kilograms and stand 8 feet tall.  African elephants have bigger ears than asian elephants and they have two finger like lips on their trunk whereas asian elephants have only one.  Unlike asian elephants, african elephants have three toes.  They have four molars which weigh about 5 kilograms and measure 30 centimeters.  Their incisors can weigh 23 kilograms and measure 8 feet.  Both male and female have elephant tusks, unlike asian elephants.  African elephants about 1,000,000 muscles in their trunk itself

African elephants are one of the two surviving genera of the family Elephantidae.  There are currently two species of african elephants existing.
1-African bush elephant 
2-African forest elephant
The african bush elephant is bigger than the african forest elephant.  They were first considered as subspecies of the african elephant, but now they are separate species.  Even now, scientists are not sure if they should be considered as separate species or not.

Conservation Status
African elephant numbers have greatly decreased since the twentieth century.  In the year 1970, their numbers were more than 400,000.  But, by 2006, their numbers were roughly 10,00.  African elephants are hunted for their tusks which are used in special chinese medicine and as perfume.  Now, due to conservation efforts, the numbers are increasing.  In some places, hunters are allowed to hunt a limited number of elephants to control the population.

African elephants are herbivores.  They eat grass and other vegetation.  Adults eat almost 150 kilograms of vegetation everyday and 50 tons every year.  They drink about 190 liters of water everyday.

Source of picture 1
Source of picture 2

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