African Elephants

By: Lindsay Stutzman

Habitat

In the past, African Elephants have roamed south of the Sahara Dessert in areas called Savannas. Savannas are also known as tropical grasslands. Savannas really only have two seasons. The summer is the wet season and the winter is the dry season. During the dry season, there is usually less than 4 inches of rainfall. Because of over hunting, today most African Elephants live in preserves and National Parks.

Appearance

African Elephants are the largest mammals on Earth. They can weigh as much as 12,000 pounds and be as tall as 12 feet. An African Elephant has a trunk that is about 7 feet long. The trunk is used as a nose, hand, and fingers. If an elephant is in danger, it can also use it's trunk to defend itself. Sometimes elephants wrap their trunks around each other to give hugs!


Both male and female African Elephants have beautiful tusks made of ivory. Elephants use these tusks to dig up plant roots and tear bark from trees.

Diet

African Elephants are herbivores. This means they mostly eat plants. Some of the African Elephants' favorite foods are grass, leaves, bamboo, and bark from trees. If an elephant roans close to farms, they sometimes will ear bananas and sugarcane. Elephants often eat over 300 pounds of food and spend 16 hours a day eating! When an elephant drinks water, it can suck up as much as 2 gallons in one slurp through it's trunk.
5 Fun Facts About Elephants

Family

Female elephants are called cows, while male elephants are called bulls. An African Elephant's young is called a calf. Usually only one calf is born at a time. The calf grows in it's mother's stomach for 22 months. That is the longest of any mammal! An African Elephant calf weighs about 220 pounds at birth and stands around 35 inches tall. When a calf is born, aunts, sisters, and cousins all help take care of the calf.

Interesting Facts

  • African Elephants can live up to 70 years old in the wild
  • Female elephants live in herds with their family all their life
  • Male elephants leave their family herd and begin roaming at age 14
  • On average, an elephant only sleeps about 2 hours a day
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