Elephants are the biggest and one of the uniquelooking terrestrial living creatures. There is no other animal with a similar physique: a characteristic long nose (trunk), large and flexible ears, wide and thick legs.
- What types of elephants live on Earth and where
- African Elephant Loxodonta Africana
- Forest Elephant (Loxodonta Cyclotis)
- Indian elephant (Elephas maximus)
- Srilanki Elephant (Elephas Maximus Maximus)
- Sumatran Elephant (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus)
- Elephant of Bornea (Elephas Maximus Borneensis)
- Elephant description (appearance)
- What elephants eat
- How elephants multiply and give offspring
- Social behavior of elephants
- Enemies of elephants in nature
- The number of elephants
- Elephants and people
What types of elephants live on Earth and where
Three species and three subspecies of animals live in Africa and Asia.
African Elephant Loxodonta Africana
This is the largest terrestrial animal. As the name implies, the elephants graze in the savannah, but some live in the deserts of Namib and sugar. African savannah elephants are light gray, large, and their tusks bend inside.
Forest Elephant (Loxodonta Cyclotis)
It was considered a subspecies of the African Savannaya Elephant, but then was classified as a separate species that arose 2-7 million years ago. These elephants are smaller, have more rounded ears, their trunks of hairy than the elephants of the savannah. The forest elephant is darker than gray and tusks are more straight and directed down.
These elephants prefer thick forests, most of them are found in Gabon. They feed on fruits (leaves and bark make up the rest of the diet), live in small, isolated groups from 2 to 8 members.
Indian elephant (Elephas maximus)
He has a big head and short and powerful neck paws. With large ears, they regulate their temperature and communicate with other elephants. Differences in the Indian and African elephants:
These elephants have long tails that grow below their knees. Indian stages rarely have tusks, and if they meet, then tusks do not grow outside the mouth.
Indian elephant is found in 10 countries of Southeast Asia, but most (about 30,000) live in four areas of India. These include the foothills of the Gimalayev mountains in the northeast and northwest, the central states of Orissa and Jarkhand, as well as the southern staff of Karnatak.
Srilanki Elephant (Elephas Maximus Maximus)
The largest of Asian subspecies. Sri Lanka holds an impressive number of elephants for such a small country. Studies show that in Sri Lanka the highest density of elephants in Asia. They live in plain arid zones in the north, east and southeast of the country.
The Sri-Lankan Elephant has characteristic spots without pigmentation, which are sections of the skin without color on the ears, head, trunk and abdomen. This elephant is the largest and at the same time the darkest of the subspecies of the Asian elephant. Differs from the African elephant with smaller ears and a more curved spine. Unlike African relatives, females of this species without tusks. Females who have tusks have very small, almost invisible, visible only when the mouth is open. The males have quite long tusks that can be longer and harder than in African elephants.
Sumatran Elephant (Elephas Maximus Sumatranus)
Is under threat of disappearance. Over the past quarter of a century, 70% of the elephant habitat on the Indonesian island (mainly forests with canopies) have been destroyed, which does not bode well to restore the population.
Significantly smaller in size than African elephants. This subspecies reaches a maximum height of 3.2 m and weighs up to 4000 kg. Compared to Sri Lankine and Indian elephants, subspecies of Sumatra have a lighter color of the skin and minimal traces of depigmentation on the body. Females are smaller and lighter than males and have shorter tusks that are barely noticeable. Compared to tusks of other Asian subspecies, fangs of elephants of the Sumatran subspecies are shorter.
Elephant of Bornea (Elephas Maximus Borneensis)
Some zoologists consider the island elephants, as the fourth separate species, which is less than other Asian elephants. Elephants from the island of Borneo have a long tail reaching almost to the ground, and more straight tusks. Their “children’s” heads and a more rounded body shape give attractiveness.
Males grow up to 2.5 meters in height. Their skin is from dark gray to brown.
Elephant description (appearance)
These animals have a lobed forehead, embossed, domeshaped, double crown.
The elephants have a developed, largest of all ground mammals, 3 or 4 times more than people, although less weight, if you take as a basis the proportion of the body.
The organs of vision
The eyes are small. Due to the position, size of the head and neck, their limited peripheral vision with a range of only 8 meters.
Ears with large veins under a thin layer of skin cool blood and control body temperature (elephants do not sweat). From the age of 10, the upper part of the ear gradually bends, increasing by about 3 cm over every 20 years of the elephant life, which gives an idea of the age of the animal. Elephants have excellent hearing and catch sounds at a distance of 15 km!
Elephants gave six kits of teeth for life, while old teeth are replaced by new ones as they wear. After all the teeth are spent, the elephant cannot feed, dies.
Language and taste sensations
Elephants have big tongues, and they like it when they are stroked! Animals have a developed sense of taste, and they are selective in what they eat.
The trunk of an elephant is one of the most amazing creations of nature. It consists of six main muscle groups and 100,000 individual muscle units. On the tip of the trunk of an Asian elephant, one fingershaped process, and in African elephants two. The trunk is dexterous and sensitive, strong and powerful.
The elephant uses a trunk for many purposes:
Like a trunkdefense, a trunk is a formidable weapon capable of killing. The trunk is used for smell, which is more developed in elephants than in other ground animals. Damaged trunk death sentence to the elephant. Elephants carefully treat the trunk, protect it, sleep, hiding under the chin, and with a threat hide in the same place.
Tusks are developed upper incisors. They are used for:
Not all males Nature gives tusks. Males without them are not losing. Energy that they do not spend on the growth of tusks increases the weight of the body, and they have stronger and more developed trunk.
Elephants are called thickskinned, but these are not rude, but sensitive creatures. The skin with strong grooves hangs in folds, covered with rough bristles, irritated from the bites of arthropods and ticks settled in folds. Regular bathing is important for animal health. Elephants with trunk cover themselves with dirt, protect the body from biting creatures.
The tail of the tail up to 1.3 m in length and on the tip of it has gross hairs similar to wire, and animals use this organ against insects.
The straps of the elephant are amazing. Heavy animals easily overcome moist plots of land and swamps. The foot expands, the pressure decreases. The foot is compressed, the pressure on the surface increases, which allows you to evenly distribute the larger weight of the elephant.
What elephants eat
Thickskinned animals with tusks tear off strips of bark. Rough food contains calcium, helps digestion.
Elephants also vow:
In general, the main food in nature is grass.
Elephants also consume from 80 to 120 liters of water every day. 180 liters are also drunk in the heat, and an adult male is drawn by a trunk in less than 5 minutes 250 liters!
Elephants eat land
To supplement the diet, elephants dig ground for the sake of salt and minerals. The soil layer rises, as the minerals are deep in the ground.
What are the elephants in captivity
Elephants graze in vast areas of land in nature, eat plants of any size, from grass to trees. In captivity, elephants are given:
The hay is the main part of the elephant diet in the zoo, circus or national park.
What elephants eat in the summer
In the summer, when everything dries and dies, the elephants will eat the vegetation that they only find, even the hardest bark and woody parts of plants! Elephants also dig the roots, rough food is removed from the gastrointestinal tract without complete chewing or digestion.
Whether elephants adapt to new diets
Thanks to high intelligence, the elephants change the habit of nutrition depending on the habitat. A variety of ecosystems contribute to the survival of elephants in forests, savannahs, grassy plains, swamps and deserts.
How elephants multiply and give offspring
Pregnancy proceeds from 18 to 22 months. By the end of the term, the mother will choose a female from the herd as a “aunt”, which helps with the birth and upbringing of offspring. Gemini are rarely born.
Young people are breastfeed for up to four years, although they show interest in hard food from six months. The whole family group protects, brings up the cub. In early adolescence, the elephants become sexually mature, and from the age of 16 the female gives birth. The elephant rarely leads more than 4 elephants throughout life. At the age of 25 to 40 years, the elephants are in prime and reach the peak of physical strength. At about 55, old age begins, and if you are lucky, they will live up to 70 and, possibly, even longer.
This is a unique state of elephants, which is still not scientifically explained. It affects sexually mature males aged 20 to 50 years, occurs annually and lasts from 2 to 3 weeks, usually in hot times. The elephant becomes excited, aggressive and dangerous. It is known that even serene animals kill people and other elephants when they experience ruts.
The reasons are not clarified. The animal is sexually excited, but this is not completely sexual behavior. Elephants mate outside the rutus period, and this is not the same as the mating season characteristic of other mammals.
Gon begins with the fact that a strong smelling oily secretion flows from the gland above the eye. This highlighting runs off the head of the elephant and falls into the mouth. The taste of secret drives the animal crazy. Domesticated elephants experiencing ruts are held chained and fed at a distance until the condition subsides, and the animal will return to the norm. At the age of 45-50, the ruts gradually subside, in the end, completely disappears. In exceptional cases, this state is manifested in females.
Social behavior of elephants
Elephants are socialized animals, live in family groups. Herds consist of females and their cubs, led by a female who is an indisputable leader; Where she goes, herd always follows her.
At the beginning of ripening, young males are expelled from the herd, and they form small groups of up to 10 animals, which move at a distance behind the main female group. When males reach 25 years of age, they form pairs or triples.
Among adult males there is a hierarchy where the dominant elephant has the right to mating. This privilege is conquered in battles against other elephants. Herds, including men’s groups, gather near reservoirs or at the place of grazing. There are no friction between the groups, and elephants seem to be happy to meet.
Enemies of elephants in nature
It is believed that elephants have no natural enemies. However, this does not mean that they are safe in nature. Elephants production for lions and tigers. As a rule, weak or young elephants become their victims. Since elephants form friendly herds, animal hunters have to wait until someone lags behind the rest. For the most part, the elephants are healthy, so they do not often become food.
From time to time, carnivorous animals, when there is nothing to eat, bold and hunt for slow young elephants. Since herds of elephants do not hide from the denser of meat, this makes them an attractive goal. Predators understand that adult elephants will kill them if they are not careful, but if they are quite hungry, they take a chance.
Since elephants spend a lot of time in water, the elephants become victims of crocodiles. Not often an unspoken law of nature not to contact elephants violated. Mother-slope closely monitors the cub, other females in the herd are also observed. The consequences for predators, when they attack young animals, do not force themselves to wait.
Hyenas are circling around elephants when they recognize the signs that someone is sick or old to resist. They feed on elephants after the death of giants.
The number of elephants
The number of elephants in nature is:
The numbers of research are different, but the result is the same, elephants disappear from nature.
Elephants and people
A person hunts elephants, reduces the habitat of large animals. This leads to a reduction in the number and feed base for elephants.