Grassland Animals

African Elephant
African Elephant
Class: Mammalia: Mammals Diet: Leaves
Order: Proboscidea: Elephants
Size: body:6 - 7.5 m (19 3/4 - 24 1/2 ft), tail: 1 - 1.3 m (3 1/4 - 4 1/4 in)
Family: Elephantidae: Elephants Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana Habitat: forest, savanna
Range: Africa, south of the Sahara

Size of African ElephantThe huge, majestic elephant is perhaps the most imposing of all the African mammals. It has larger ears and tusks than the Asian species and two finger-like extensions at the end of its trunk. Females are smaller than males and have shorter tusks. Elephants rest in the mid-day heat and have one or two periods of rest at night but are otherwise active at any time, roaming with their swinging, unhurried gait in search of food. Depending on its size, an elephant may consume up to 200 kg (440 lb) of plant material a day, all of which is grasped with the trunk and placed in the mouth. The diet includes leaves, shoots, twigs, roots and fruit from many plants, as well as cultivated crops on occasion. Range of African Elephant Elephants are social animals, particularly females, and are known to demonstrate concern for others in distress. A troop usually comprises several females and their young of various ages. As they mature, young males form separate troops. Old males may be shunned by the herd when they are displaced by younger males. Breeding occurs at any time of year, and a female in heat may mate with more than one male. The gestation period is about 22 months, and usually only 1 young is born. The female clears a secluded spot for the birth and is assisted by other females. The calf is suckled for at least 2 years and remains with its mother even longer. She may have several calves of different ages under her protection and gives birth only every 2 to 4 years. 


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