The African Elephant

An Elephant herd is closely developed around family. A herd is made up of an adult female and her offspring, as well as two more closely related females and their offspring. The young elephants, known as bulls, separate from their families once they’ve reached puberty at the age of 16 years old and move on to join other bulls to create bachelor groups, or to move around alone. The best way to determine whether the elephant is male or female is by taking a closer look at their heads. A male’s head is more rounded, whereas a female’s head is squarer.

At birth, an elephant calf can weigh up to at least 118kgs (260 pounds) and walks under its mother’s belly for their first year of life. Elephants can spend up to 16-18 hours grazing, whether it’s up in the trees or down on the ground. Elephants can reach up to 5.5 metres (18 feet) or more in the air if they stand on their hind legs and stretch out their long trunks. Those handy trunks also keep the elephants well hydrated and cooled; drinking up to 7 litres of water per squirt. An elephant can drink up to 50 litres of water before their thirst is finally satisfied.

Have you ever noticed the flapping of the ears an elephant does when charging? It’s not a scare tactic if that’s what you were wondering, but it definitely does help. It is thought to be a cooling action as the stress of the moment causes the elephant to overheat slightly.

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