Q:

How many bones are in an African elephant skeleton?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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How many bones are in an African elephant skeleton?
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Full Answer

The African elephant has 21 ribs and its vertebrae are held together by tight joints. The skull is tough enough to withstand head smashing, as well as whatever leverage it can achieve using its tusks. The skull also contains air cavities that lighten the skull to maintain overall strength. The bones make up about 12 to 15 percent of the elephant's body weight. The bones in its limbs are spongy and have no marrow cavity. The African elephant's neck is almost horizontal due to its double spine. This helps to bear the weight of its large tusks.

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Related Questions

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    What is being done to save the African elephant?

    A:

    To save the African elephant, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna imposed a complete ban in 1989 on international trade in ivory. In the United States, the African elephant is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and in 1989, Congress established a moratorium on the importation of the ivory of African elephants. These measures reduce elephant poaching.

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    What are some of the adaptations of the African elephant?

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    What is an enemy of the African elephant?

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    How much does an adult male African elephant weigh?

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