The elephant is truly a magnificent animal, and the largest living land mammal on Earth. Elephants are brown to dark gray in colour, and have long, coarse hairs that cover their bodies sparsely. They have very thick skin that keeps them cool.
Elephant ears are large, thin, and full of veins. This allows blood to circulate through them, and helps cool off this large mammal. When they fan their ears, they’re looking to cool off! Of all its specialized features, the elephant’s musculartrunkis perhaps the most extraordinary.
It is actually a fusion of the nose and lip, and contains almost 40,000 muscles! It serves as a nose, hand, extra foot, signaling device and tool for gathering food, siphon ing water, dusting, and digging.
Elephants eat leaves, bamboo, bark, roots. They are also known to eat crops like banana and sugarcane which are grown by farmers. Adult elephants eat 136-180 kilos of food per day.
Elephants form deep family bonds, and live in tight matriarchal family groups of related females called a herd.
The herd is led by the oldest, and often largest female in the herd, called a matriarch. Herds consist of 8100 individuals depending on terrain and family size.
Recent discoveries have shown that elephants can communicate over long distances by producing a sub-sonic rumble that can travel over the ground faster than sound through air.
Other elephants receive the messages through the sensitive skin on their feet and trunks. Elephants are extremely intelligent animals, and have memories that span many years. They also display signs of grief, joy, anger, and playfulness.