Q:

How do African elephants migrate?

A:

Quick Answer

A matriarch African elephant leads the herd through migration by using her memory to find safe routes with plentiful food and water. Families of elephants join to make a large group for safe migration.

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Full Answer

African elephants migrate to avoid predators, find new resources and seek desirable climates. Migratory herds may include up to 500 elephants. Elephants that live in desert areas sometimes migrate in circles to search for abundant water supplies.

These animals often inhabit harsh climates that are difficult to survive in. Large ears diffuse heat to keep the animal cool in hot weather. The trunk is a multifunctional body part that allows elephants to siphon and spray water, grab objects, fight off enemies, drink and communicate with the herd. They eat roots, berries, tree bark and grasses. African elephants are foragers that require little sleep. These factors help the animals roam long distances in areas with few food resources during migration.

Baby elephants can nurse for as long as 10 years, which helps them survive during food shortages. Mothers keep their babies close at all times during migration and teach them how to survive while traveling with a herd. Female babies are likely to stay with the herd longer than males.

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Related Questions

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    Why are African elephants endangered?

    A:

    African elephants are listed as threatened under the American Endangered Species Act because the species is at risk of extinction due to poaching for their tusks, which are sold on the black market. In addition, the African elephant population is at risk due to loss of habitat when mankind moves into the elephant's range.

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    Do elephants migrate?

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    Elephants migrate seasonally to search for food, water and mates. Some herds travel hundreds of miles when nearby waterholes are dry. Elephants usually travel between 6 and 12 miles per day.

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    How strong are elephants?

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    Elephants are considered the strongest mammal and strongest land animal, as they can carry up to 9,000 kilograms, which in turn equals the approximate weight of 130 adult human beings. An elephant's trunk consists of over 100,000 muscles.

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    How tall are elephants?

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    According to National Geographic, African elephants are the largest animals on Earth and can reach as tall as 13 feet at the shoulder. They weigh as much as 14,000 pounds. Asian elephants are slightly smaller and feature rounder ears.

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