Surname: African elephant
Other namesPhotos: African steppe elephant
Latin name: Loxodonta africana
size: 2,5 - 3,2m
mass: 3 - 6 tons
Older: 50 - 70 years
Appearance: gray skin, big ears
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Leaves, tree bark, grasses, roots
distribution: Africa (esp. East Africa)
original origin: Africa
Sleep-wake rhythm: day and night active
habitat: African steppe, semi-desert
natural enemies: adult elephants without natural enemies
sexual maturity: at the earliest around the age of 10
mating season: possible all year round
gestation: 22 months
litter size: 1 cub
social behavior: Herd animal
Threatened with extinction: Endangered
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the African elephant
- The African elephant or Loxodonta africana describes a species within the elephant family, which - as the name already suggests - is native to Africa.
- Widely used in the past, today the African elephant populates only a few areas in eastern and southern Africa, which are protected as national parks.
- The trade in ivory and the continuous destruction of its habitats have led to the fact that today only a few hundred thousand animals live in the whole of Africa.
- The African elephant inhabits different habitats and is generally adaptable when food, water and shady areas are available.
- It lives mainly in the plains, but can also be found in layers up to five thousand meters high.
- With an average size of just over three meters, it weighs up to five, more rarely up to seven tons.
- Striking are his large tusks, which have both the bulls and the cows, with those of the cows from a certain age only longer, those of the bull, however, also continuously wider.
- The tusks can reach lengths of up to three meters and weigh up to a hundred kilograms.
- The giant ears are also a distinctive feature of the African elephant. They serve to give off excess body heat in a hot climate.
- The skin of the elephant is very sensitive, although it is two inches thick.
- Sunburn and excessive exposure to heat protect African elephants by spraying their skin with mud.
- An African elephant needs up to three hundred liters of water per day.
- The water sources are tracked down with the sensitive long trunk.
- In search of water and plant food, African elephants travel up to twelve kilometers a day.
- The mating takes place independently of season. To mate a female, the otherwise solitary bulls temporarily join the female herds headed by a dominant lead cow.
- After a gestation period of 22 months, the cow gives birth to a calf, which is nursed for the entire first year of life.
- Elephants reach a life of up to seventy years.