Africa | Elephant | Big Five | Wildlife
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Undoubtedly the largest animal to walk the face of the earth. These giant herbivores may weigh up to 7 tonnes.

Everything about their life is gigantic. For example, elephants will drink almost 200 liters of water daily and eat between 100-250 kilograms of vegetation. Their life is mainly spent looking for food and water. An elephant can even spend 16 hours in a day eating.

The gestation period for an elephant usually goes for 22 months. At birth, a calf is about 100 kilos and stand at a height of 1 meter. On average, a healthy elephant has a lifespan of 70 years.

Distinct features that identify an elephant apart from its massive body include:

  • Elephant trunk: This is an elongated mass of muscles that form the elephantís nose. An elephant will use its trunk to smell, breathe, trumpet, grab items, drink and in some instances fend off enemies.
  • Elephant ears: With the huge body mass that an elephant has, it would need all the help it can get to cool itself. This is where the massive ears. The ears have a large network of blood vessels and by flapping the ears; it aids the animal in cooling.
  • Elephantís skin: Made up of a thick coat of wrinkled skin. The skin is tough yet sensitive.
  • Elephant tusk: These are the elephantís upper incisors and are present at birth. These are milk teeth and fall off after an year. The permanent tusks start to grow at age 2,at a rate of 15 cm each year.

An elephant can transmit powerful sounds to over 8 kilometers. These sounds are known as subsonic sounds and are beyond the range of the human ear.

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University of Nairobi