There are between 326 and 351 bones in the African elephant's skeleton. It has a total of 61 vertebrae, and its bones are thin and are easily fractured.
In many cultures, the elephant is a symbol of power and strength. However, the elephant symbolizes many different things to many cultures and even has several significant religious meanings.
Female elephants are called cows. Male elephants are called bulls. An entire group of elephants are reffered to as a heard. Elephants are very intelligent animals with complex social structures.
A baby elephant is called a calf. It weighs about 220 pounds at birth.
According to researcher John Hutchinson from the Royal Veterinary College in the U.K., adult elephants are capable of top speed running in a walk-like gait at a speed of 6.8 meters per second. That is nearly 15 mph.
Elephant tusks are used for obtaining ivory, a hard, white substance that can be found only in the tusks and teeth of certain mammals. The ivory itself is used to make a variety of items that are typically used to show affluence, wealth or importance.
According to Pennsylvania State University, an elephant's trunk contains approximately 100,000 muscles. The prehensile trunk is also used for trumpeting, drinking and grabbing objects, in addition to functioning as a nose. African elephants feature two finger-like protrusions at the end of their trunks, while Asian elephants have just one.
An elephant is pregnant for up to two years before giving birth, the longest gestation period of any mammal. Elephants are the largest living and largest-brained land animal in the world, and a long development is needed for elephants in the womb.
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.
There are two species of elephants: the Asian elephant, which lives in south and southeast Asia, and the African elephant, which lives in sub-Saharan Africa. The can be found living in the tropical forests, woodlands and savannahs of these regions.
A herd of elephants is called a parade. Elephants naturally live in herds with linear and established social orders. They require large areas in which to raise families, breed, travel, forage and live. The climates of Asia and Africa are ideal for these activities.
After successful courtship, elephants mate with the male mounting the female from behind. Mating occurs after somewhat elaborate courtship and mating rituals.
The average African elephant weighs between 2.5 and 7 tons, and the average Asian elephant weighs anywhere from 2.5 to 5.5 tons. Given its size, the African elephant is the largest living land mammal on Earth.
When elephants walk, each of their legs functions independently, according to John Hutchinson of London's Royal Veterinary College. Elephants position their legs directly under their bodies to support their extreme weight.
Elephants lack natural predators in nature, largely as a result of their size. They are too big for most would-be predators to take down safely and eat. Humans are the primary predator of elephants, as people still hunt elephants for their ivory, meat and bones.
Elephants have big ears to help radiate heat and keep them cool. When elephants flap their wet ears, they cool the blood flowing through the numerous blood vessels in their ears. This helps cool their large bodies.
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.
Generally speaking, elephants are broadly classified as either Loxodonta africana, if African, or Elephas maximus, if Asian. However, genetic research has found that subspecies exist in both groups and the scientific, or taxonomic, name is therefore not so simple to discern.
Elephants are gray in color and have a long trunk that has several uses, including breathing and feeding. They are the largest land mammals on Earth.
African Elephants are an endangered species of herbivore and are the largest land animals on the planet. They are characterized by their curved tusks, thick pillar legs, large ears and trunk.
Although the elephant uses its trunk to pick up objects, the main function of the trunk is for eating and drinking. Using its trunk, the elephant can graze around trees or the ground without any movement of its head, and it can suck around 3.5 gallons of water up at one time.