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Advair.gif (3290 bytes) Animal Behavior  Advkichwa.gif (6295 bytes)
Alwet.GIF (5615 bytes) ELEPHANT Alwet.GIF (5615 bytes)
ORDER FAMILY Scientific name
Proboscidae Elephantidae Loxodonta africana
(Blumembach,1797)
HABITAT Elephants are always associated with permanent water and abundant vegetation( an exception to this is the desert elephant from Namibia, who adapted to survive in the harsh conditions of the area). Because elephants do not have sweat glands, water plays an important roll in helping them cool down.
HABITS Elephants are very intelligent and highly social animals. They live in herds, made up of the matriarch (the oldest animal in the group), her female calves and the youngsters. The herd can comprise between 6 and 30 animals, after what they split to form new herds, always maintaining contact with each other at water holes and feeding spots.
   At 14 years of age, males leave the heard and associate with other bulls of the same age or older. Within the "bull area" hierarchy is well observed and understood by all bulls; if a group of bulls come across a cow in oestrus, the animal occupying the highest rank is the one to mate.
   Males are much larger than females and their tusks are much longer and heavier.
   Elephants have 6 sets of molar teeth; when the last set is lost, the animal is unable to feed and eventually dies. Their lifespan is about 50 to 60 years.
DIET Elephants eat practically any vegetable matter. Leaves, grass, reeds, roots, flowers, fruits, bark and even soil if the mineral content is high.
They eat about 250 Kg of food and drink about 150 to 200 liters of water a day.
BREEDING Females are sexually mature at 12 years of age and are mated by visiting bulls. After a gestation period of 22 months, the cow gives birth to a single calf that weights up to 130 Kg. The calf suckles for about 3 years.

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Last revised: March 22, 2005.