Reading Work Sample

Ryen Ross


Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order Proboscidea. Traditionally, two species are recognised, the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and theAsian elephant (Elephas maximus), although some evidence suggests that African bush elephants and African forest elephants are separate species (L. africana and L. cyclotisrespectively). Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and South andSoutheast Asia. They are the only surviving proboscideans; extinct species includemammoths and mastodons. The largest living terrestrial animals, male African elephants can reach a height of 4 m (13 ft) and weigh 7,000 kg (15,000 lb). These animals have several distinctive features, including a long proboscis or trunk used for many purposes, particularly for grasping objects. Their incisors grow into tusks, which serve as tools for moving objects and digging and as weapons for fighting. The elephant's large ear flaps help to control the temperature of its body. African elephants have larger ears and concave backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.

Elephants are herbivorous and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts and marshes. They prefer to stay near water. They are considered to be keystone species due to their impact on their environments. Other animals tend to keep their distance, and predators such as lions, tigers, hyenas and wild dogs usually target only the young elephants (or "calves"). Females ("cows") tend to live in family groups, which can consist of one female with her calves or several related females with offspring. The latter are led by the oldest cow, known as the matriarch. Elephants have a fission-fusion society in which multiple family groups come together to socialise. Males ("bulls") leave their family groups when they reach puberty, and may live alone or with other males. Adult bulls mostly interact with family groups when looking for a mate and enter a state of increased testosterone and aggression known as musth, which helps them gain dominance and reproductive success. Calves are the centre of attention in their family groups and rely on their mothers for as long as three years. Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They communicate by touch, sight, and sound; elephants use infrasound, and seismic communication over long distances. Elephant intelligence has been compared with that of primates and cetaceans. They appear to haveself-awareness and show empathy for dying or dead individuals of their kind.

Elephant. (n.d.). Retrieved June 10, 2013, from Wikipedia website:




1. How would you compare Asian elephants with African elephants?

2. How can you describe a male African elephant?


3. What can you point out about an Asian elephant?

4. What do think about this article about elephants?


5. What is the most important fact to you about an elephant?

6. Rank the importance of Asian elephants?



1. African elephants have concave backs while Asian elephants have convex or level backs

2. Largest living terrestrial animals that can reach the height of 13ft. And the weight of 15,000 lbs.


3. They contain smaller ears and are less popular

4. I think it contains a lot of interesting facts not as much important but very interesting


5. That male African elephants are the largest living terrestrial animal

6. My rank would be 50 50 because Asian elephants are just as important as African elephants just less population