10 characteristics of ELEPHANTS

1 year ago

Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They have characteristic long noses, or trunks; large, floppy ears; And wide, thick legs. There are two species of elephants.

The Asian elephant and the African elephant live on separate continents and have many unique characteristics. There are several subspecies that fall under one or the other of these two main species, although there is disagreement as to how many subspecies there are.

elephant characteristics



  1. Size: African elephants are the larger of the two species. They grow to be 8.2 to 13 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) from shoulder to toe and weigh between 5,000 and 14,000 pounds. (2,268 to 6,350 kilograms), according to the National Geographic. Asian elephants can grow from 6.6 to 9.8 feet (2 to 3 m) from shoulder to foot and weigh from 2.25 to 5.5 tons (2,041 to 4,990 kg).
  2. Habitat: African elephants live in sub-Saharan Africa, the rainforests of central and western Africa, and the Sahel desert in Mali. Asian elephants live in Nepal, India, and Southeast Asia in scrub forests and moist forests.
  3. Diet: Elephants eat grasses, roots, fruits and bark. They use their fangs to tear the bark off trees and pull roots out of the ground. An elephant has an appetite that matches its size. An adult can eat 300 pounds. (136 kg) of food in one day, according to National Geographic.
  4. Offspring: Male elephants are called bulls and females are called cows. After mating, the cow will be pregnant for about 22 months. When the baby elephant is finally born, it can weigh around 200 pounds. (91 kg) and stay close to 3 feet (1 m) tall. A baby elephant is called a calf. As the calf grows, it will gain 2 to 3 pounds. Every day until his first birthday. When they are 2 or 3 years old, the calves are ready to be weaned. Male calves will wander off on their own, while female calves stay with their mothers. When they are between the ages of 13 and 20, they will be mature enough to have children of their own. Elephants live from 30 to 50 years in the wild.
  5. A powerful brain: Elephants have the largest brain of any land mammal, weighing between 4.5 and 5.5 kg (10-12 lb.). Elephants have highly developed brains and parts of the brain involved in movement and muscle coordination. Elephants have large portions of the temporal lobes of the brain that facilitate memory. Elephants have excellent long-term memory and are capable of recalling experiences for long periods of time. Research has shown that elephants can recognize other members of the herd decades after they last interacted with them.


  6. They have the feeling of love: A baby elephant receives love from the moment it is born. The female members of the herd assist the working mother and immediately begin to bond with the calf. The young calf is considered the responsibility of the entire group. He spends his early years being cuddled, petted and guided by the cows. If the calf is in danger, the mother will risk her own life to save her baby. Field scientists have observed that elephant cows risk their lives to save a calf that is not their own. If a mother dies, another cow adopts and cares for the baby. Older female elephants are very involved with the babies until they reach their teens, when they no longer need supervision. Matriot elephants have even been observed babysitting while the mothers graze.
  7. they are compassionate: In a herd of elephants, some members may not be as strong or healthy as others, but they are all part of the family, without exception. Sick or injured elephants are surrounded by the others and encouraged to stand up, for example. Elephants use their trunks to massage the weak shoulders and head of the elephant. They also use their trunks to push sick elephants to their feet, and will attempt to use their bodies to support that of an injured or sick elephant. When traveling, healthy elephants often turn and look at their slower herd mates, stop and wait for the elephants to catch up before moving on.
  8. They feel the pain of death: Field scientists have long observed that elephants perform mourning and mourning rituals when a member of the herd dies. The mother elephant will be left with the carcass of a dead calf for days; the death of a matriarch is cause for long-term mourning. Scientists Cynthia Moss and Harvey Croze, while studying a group of elephants for several years, observed the herd during various mourning rituals after one of the herd's matriarchs died. Then, years later, the pack revisited the matriarch's bones. The elephants gathered around the bones, stroking them with their trunks. The elephants parted to allow the daughters of the dead elephant to get closer to the bones. The two female elephants spent hours with their mother's bones, putting the trunks in their jaws and stroking her skull.
  9. Characteristic diet: Staples: grasses, leaves, bamboo, bark, roots. Elephants have also been known to eat crops such as bananas and sugarcane that are grown by farmers. Adult elephants eat 300-400 pounds of food per day.
  10. Fur: Elephant skin is wrinkled in appearance, with African elephants more wrinkled than Asian elephants. Wrinkles act as a cooling mechanism by increasing the surface area of ​​the skin. Additional skin and wrinkles trap moisture, which then takes longer to evaporate. Therefore, wrinkles keep elephants cooler for longer than if they had smooth skin. Asian elephants have a less wrinkled appearance than African elephants because they mainly inhabit forested habitats. Temperatures are not as high in forested areas, reducing the need for forest-dwelling elephants to cool down. The elephant's skin can be up to 3.8 cm (1.5 in) thick in certain places. However, the skin is sensitive to touch, detecting insects and changes in its environment. The combination of thick skin and a thin layer of fat under the skin allows the elephant to tolerate cold temperatures. The general coloration of the skin of elephants is gray. However, Asian elephants have a freckled appearance due to distinct patches of depigmentation, especially on the trunk.


According to International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the Asian elephant is endangered. Although it is not known exactly how many Asian elephants remain, it is believed that the population is declining. The African elephant is considered vulnerable. In general, their populations are increasing. According to African Wildlife Foundation, there are around 470,000 African elephants roaming the world.



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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2024) 10 characteristics of ELEPHANTS, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-elephants/ (Consultado el: 12-06-2024)

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