African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana) are the largest land animals on Earth. These magnificent giants are slightly larger than Asian elephants and can be found roaming countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are many interesting anecdotes about elephants. In some cultures, people consider elephants as a lucky symbol for prosperity and business. This is why many elephant sculptures and paintings are often seen displayed in many homes and commercial establishments.
Elephants are also recognized as being among the most intelligent creatures. In fact, researchers in the UK have discovered that African elephants can distinguish differences in human gender, age and ethnicity purely by the sound of a person’s voice. African elephants are also shown to understand human body language, recognize themselves and have long term memory.
To learn more about these amazing animals, here are 13 interesting facts about African elephants.
- The size of African elephants ranges from 8 to 13 feet (shoulder height) and their length can reach up to 23 feet. Asian elephants reach up to 9.8 feet in shoulder height.
- An African elephant can weigh from 2.5 to 7 tons.
- African elephants can be identified by their larger ears that resemble the African continent. These ears are used by the elephants to regulate the body temperature by flapping the ears. This cooler blood passes around the body which keeps them cooler in the African heat.
- The trunks of African elephants have two finger-like (prehensile) features that they use to grab things. This is different from Asian elephants’ trunks which only have one finger.
- African elephants are herbivores and they consume up to 300 pounds of food in a single day. They feed mostly on roots, grass, fruit and bark.
- African elephants are not easily domesticated unlike the Asian elephants.
- The skin of African elephants is more wrinkled than those of Asian elephants.
- The average lifespan of an African elephant in the wild is up to 70 years.
- Female African elephants live in a family herd with young elephants, while male African elephants tend to roam on their own only returning to the breeding herd to mate.
- Currently, African elephants occur in 37 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa; but they are already considered extinct in Burundi, Gambia and Mauritania.
- African elephants can usually be found in dense forests, open and closed savannah grasslands and arid deserts.
- In 2016, the estimated population of African elephants was at around 415,000. This represents a loss of 100,000 elephants in less than a decade.
- African elephants are considered VULNERABLE (at high risk of extinction in the wild), which is one step away from being endangered. The primary threats to African elephants are poaching for their ivory tusks, loss of habitat and human conflict.
African elephant trivia:
Do you know that African elephants are terrified of honeybees?
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