Elephant belong to the own circle of relatives Elephantidae. They are mammals of the order of proboscideans, that is, mammals with a trunk. If this family once included many species, including mammoths, all have now disappeared, except elephants.
Today there are 3 species of elephants: the African savannah elephant and the African wooded area elephanton the one hand, commonly grouped under the classification “African elephant”, and the African elephant ‘Asia.
What is the color of the elephant?
The elephant has a grayish skin color. Unlike humans, the pachyderm has very thick skin, more than 2 cm, which is almost not covered with hair. And, again, unlike humans, he has neither sweat gland nor sebaceous gland, which means he cannot sweat and does not secrete sebum.
Consequently, the elephant has a very dry and very fragile skin. Another problem, the parasites, which lodge in the folds of the skin.
It is therefore to get rid of these unwanted guests, but also to protect itself from the sun and to stay hydrated, that the elephant frequently sprays water with its trunk, takes mud baths, and covers itself with dust. Note that the African elephant has found a way to hydrate through the skin.
Unlike the Asian elephant, its skin has cracks. These are able to retain water, allowing the elephant to cool down for long hours.
How do elephants live?
Males and females do not have the same way of life. Elephants generally live in herds, with their young. The herd is led by the oldest female, the matriarch. Thanks to her experience and memory, she can guide her people to water and food points, making them take safer paths.
The elephant is the animal with the longest gestation in the animal world. The elephant carries her baby for 22 months. The baby elephant will be weaned around three years old, and will reach maturity around 15 years old.
This is when the males will be forced to leave the herd. When hunted, they often choose to lead a solitary life, but they can sometimes live in small groups of single males.
Elephants are diurnal animals, but some herds living in poaching-hit areas have adapted their way of life. Realizing that they were safer once darkness fell, these animals began to move after dark.
How big is the elephant?
The size of the elephant varies according to its species and sex. Thus, the Asian elephant can reach an average of 2.4 m at the withers and 2.7 tons for the female, and 2.8 m at the withers and 4 tons for the male.The African savannah elephant is bigger than the Asian elephant, and barely large than the African woodland elephant.
Females can attain 3.5 m at the withers for about 4 tons. The males measure up to 4 m at the withers, for about 7 tons. In the African forest elephant, females are on average 2.5 m at the withers for 3.5 tons. And the males reach 3.5 m at the withers for 6 tons.
How big is an elephant trunk?
The elephant’s trunk is on average 2 m long. It can weigh up to 100 kilos for the oldest individuals! It is made up of 100,000 to 150,000 muscles and is devoid of bone. Nose, hand… it has an impressive number of functions.
The tip of the trunk allows the elephant to drink, eat, smell, move objects, scratch, dust itself, cuddle other members of the herd, etc. Finally, just as little humans suck their thumbs, baby elephants suck their trunks!