What do elephants eat?
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Q:

What do elephants eat?

A:

Quick Answer

Elephants are herbivores so they eat things like fruit, bark and grasses. An adult elephant can eat more than 300 pounds of food per day.

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Full Answer

Elephants spend around 16 hours a day eating because they have to have large amounts of food to maintain their massive bodies. African elephants are slightly larger than Asian elephants and, therefore, eat more. An African elephant can grow to weigh between 5,000 and 14,000 pounds and stands up to 13 feet tall. Both Asian and African elephants use their enormous tusks to dig for food and water and to strip the bark off trees. Tree bark is a favorite among elephants. They use their trunks to put the food in their mouths.

Besides needing hundreds of pounds of food each day, elephants also require large amounts of water to survive. Adult elephants drink between 18 and 26 gallons of water per day and male elephants can drink up to 55 gallons of water at one time.

At times when an elephant needs to supplement its diet, it digs up the ground to obtain minerals and salt. After digging up the soil, the elephant eats the dirt. Large hills have been carved out by elephants in India, and they make the perfect shelter for small animals.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What food do elephants eat?

    A:

    Elephants eat vegetation in the form of grasses, bushes, small plants, tree bark, twigs, fruit and roots. They spend 16 to 18 hours a day eating, which equates to about 80 percent of the day.

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  • Q:

    What do African elephants eat?

    A:

    The diet of an African elephant consists of roots, grasses, buds, leaves, fruits and barks. Elephants can eat up to 350 pounds of food daily.

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  • Q:

    Do elephants eat peanuts?

    A:

    Elephants do not eat peanuts in the wild, and it is not common for them to eat peanuts in captivity either. Due to their extreme size, elephants must spend between 16 and 18 hours a day eating and can consume more than 300 pounds of vegetation in that span.

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  • Q:

    Why are elephants so big?

    A:

    Elephants evolved to their current size over the course of tens of millions of years; this size adaptation is likely a survival mechanism because a full-sized, adult elephant faces very little threat from predators, though baby elephants are much more vulnerable to predation from big cats such as lions and wild dogs. There have been cases in which adult elephants have fallen victim to attack from big cats, but these cases are rare. The elephant is the largest known land animal, but scientists believe that this massive mammal evolved from a creature that is roughly the size of a small rodent.

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