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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What do elephants eat?
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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:

    How long do elephants live?

    A:

    The median lifespan of an elephant in the wild is 56 years for female African elephants and 42 years for female Asian elephants. Elephants can reach ages of over 70 years old. In captivity, elephants only live to be about 17 years old — one year short of adulthood.

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  • Q:

    What eats elephants?

    A:

    Tigers and lions occasionally eat elephants, though attacks are rare. Since the repercussions of a failed attack are fierce, the big cats tend to only prey on very weak and young elephants. Scavengers, such as hyenas, often feed on dead or dying elephants.

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  • Q:

    Where are elephants found?

    A:

    Depending on the species, elephants are found naturally in Africa and Asia. African elephants are found in most parts of Africa, while Asian elephants are mostly found in the tropical forests in Asia, such as in India, Thailand and Indonesia.

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  • Q:

    Why do elephants have long trunks?

    A:

    Elephants have long trunks because they need them in order to survive on the savannah or in the rainforest. Elephants use their trunks for many different purposes such as digging for water and spraying dust over their bodies.

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