Elephants, the largest living land animals, are the symbol for greatness, stability, loyalty and intelligence. How can they not be, with their massive and strong bodies, extremely large ears, and incredibly strong trunks?
Why are elephants so special?
African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. Male elephants can reach 3 metres tall, and weigh between 4 and 8 tons! They are larger than their Asian cousins, which can grow “only” up to 2,7 metres, and weigh 3 to 6 tons. Another difference between them is African’s bigger ears that looks like the continent of Africa.
Our fellas from Africa are extremely important because they have an important role in their ecosystem. Elephants are also known as “ecosystem engineers”, they shape their habitat in many ways. During the dry season, these thoughtful giants use their tusks to dig up dry riverbeds create watering holes many animals can drink from.
Their dung is full of seeds, helping plants spread across the environment, so it’s a win-win situation for everybody! Another thing these incredible creatures do for others is while they feast on trees, they also create pathways for smaller animals to move through.
An elephant’s trunk is actually a long nose our big fellas us to smell, breathe, trump, drink and grab things. This amazing part of elephant’s body contains about 40,000 muscles! African elephants have two finger-like features at the end of their trunk, while Asian has only one.
What do elephants eat?
Can you believe these huge animals eat grass, roots, fruits and bark? Pretty light food! But, they do consume up to 300 pounds a day, which lasts 12 to 18 hours a day! These animals do not sleep too much, they walk great distances. Elephants range through the savannas of sub-Saharan Africa, and the rainforests of Central and West America.
These adorable babies come to this world after 22 months, weigh even 200 pounds and stand up on their feet very shortly after birth! Female elephants live in groups, and they are all strongly related. Males, on the other hand, leave the family unit between the ages of 12 to 15 and may lead solitary lives, or live temporarily with other males.
Elephants are highly social animals with incredible memories. It’s very true that elephants never forget. They are known to display complex behavior showing that they feel empathy for others, also capable of demonstrating other emotions including grief. We can all look up to them, can’t we?
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