About the African Elephants

by Kuljit Singh on February 17, 2019

 Broadly, there are two different species of elephants on our earth- Asian Elephants and African Elephants.

As compared to the Asian Elephants, African elephants are larger in size and wright. In fact, African elephants are the biggest land mammal animals on the planet. Their physical dimensions can expand up to 7.5 meters in length, 3.3 meters height up to their shoulders and they can weigh up to 6 tonnes.

African elephants have major characteristics to be differentiated very easily like long curved tusks, highly sensitive and dexterous trunk and big ears. They use their trunk to perform various types of tasks like bathing, eating, handling and picking up objects, detecting threats, smelling, caring for their young calves etc. Further, their trunk has two finger-shaped parts at the end which they use to pick up very small things like needle etc.

Types of African Elephants

African elephants can further be sub-divided into two main categories-

  • African Savanna Elephants (Loxodonta Africana)
  • African Forrest Elephants (Loxodonta Cyclotis)

Between the two, Savanna elephants are larger and live in grassy plains and woodlands. They have outward curvy tusks along with lighter color.

ABout African Elephants

Forest elephants are smaller in size and they are found often in equatorial forests of central and western Africa. They have downward pointing tusks and their color is a bit darker as compared to Savanna elephants.

Social Structure

They create a complex social structure love to be in herds comprising males and females. Generally, male elephants like to be alone but they also sometimes form small groups to wander around.

ABout African Elephants

The Savanna elephants make family units containing about 10 individuals and several families create ‘Clan’ by joining up to 70 members. On the other hand, forest elephants like to make smaller family herds.

Life Cycle

On average, African elephants can live up to 70 years. The female elephant gives birth to a calf after the gestation period of 22 months. The youngsters wean after 6-9 months but continue to remain under the supervision of their mothers for around the age of 6 years.

ABout African Elephants

A male elephant becomes fully eligible to compete for mating after attaining the age of 20 years.

Other Characteristics

African elephants have massive ears used for several purposes. One of the important tasks is to radiate the excessive heat of the body. Moreover, they use their ears to convey their messages among each other. They express joy or aggression by flapping their ears.

Surprisingly, they also use their ears in conjunction with their feet and trunk which helps to hear sounds over the large distances. An elephant can hear the call of another elephant up to the distance of 4 km and it can also be up to 10 km in ideal conditions.

African elephants possess several qualities recognizing them as intelligent animals. They are very emotional kind of animals and caring for each other staying in the herd. They enjoy celebrations like flap their ears, spin in circles, and trumpet etc. after getting back their long-lost friends.

Really, elephants are the wonderful creation and important part of our eco-system.