African elephants are mammals. For an animal to be a mammal, they must be a warm-blooded vertebrate. Mammals have hair, fur and skin. African elephants are not only a mammal, but also the largest land animals.
There are also elephants in Asia, but these are smaller and have distinctly different features. However, both are in danger.
They are losing their habitats and are being killed off by poachers for their ivory. Because of this, it’s important to raise awareness for these majestic creatures. We have gathered some African elephant facts that you can share with your friends and family to educate them of how great elephants are!
The different type of African Elephants
Believe it or not, there are two different types of African Elephants. According to a new DNA study, there are the African savanna elephant and the African forest elephant. How are these elephants different?
African Savanna elephant
As the name states, the African savanna elephant lives in the savannas. They are twice the size of African forest elephants. These land mammals live in large family groups that range from 10 to 70.
African forest elephant
These mammals live in the forests and they are not as large as the African savanna elephants. They also live in family groups with just a few animals.
How big can African elephants get?
African elephants don’t get the title of the largest land animal just because they can. According to National Geographic, these gentle animals can average in 8.2 to 13 feet from head to toes. They also have weight to match. These elephants are between 5,000 to 14,000 pounds!
There is a record of the largest African elephant ever recorded! This mammal weighed 24,000 pounds and was 13 feet.
What do they eat?
An African elephant’s diet is plant-based. They typically eat roots, fruits, bark and grasses. Eating is in their nature. Most of their day consists of eating.
They can consume up to 300 pounds of food in one day! Because they need a lot of food, they are always roaming and don’t sleep very much.
Their social behavior
As stated above, African elephants tend to roam in herds. Depending on if they live in the savannah or the forest, is how larger their herds can be. African elephants stay within their family herd all their lives.
The female elephants are definitely in charge of the herds. The leader of the herds is usually the oldest female and the rest of the herd is their offspring. The oldest female elephant is leading the herd because she has the most knowledge.
Locating water and knowing how to survive is what makes the elder female elephant the perfect leader. Typically, the female offspring will stay within the herd. Males will leave during their teen years, and they join other males to form small groups.
Now that you know the African elephant facts , we hope you will share the word of how great these animals are to our wildlife. If you want to help elephants beyond just sharing what you learn, check out our website where you can make a donation, buy merch or even go on an expedition to our South Africa Lab.