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Veronika Dombaj

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of Elephants

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
Elephants have various different features that help them survive in their environment. The elephant has it's large ears that help keep it cool. As an elephant flaps it's ears, the air cools the blood in the vessels. The cooled blood then travels back into the rest of the body to cool off the elephant. Elephants have strong legs and feet that are specially adapted to carry their massive weight. The elephant has tusks (a pair of long teeth) that they use to pick up, carry and break things. The actual large, flat teeth they have (that are in the mouth) are used to chew their food. The elephants trunk is one of the most important features that it needs to survive. The trunk allows them to breathe, smell the air for water or food or to tell if a predator is nearby. The trunk is usually used for eating, drinking, trumpeting, communicating, touching and sucking up water and dust to give themselves a shower. The last thing they have for their survival is their 2.5 cm thick skin to protect them from sharp thorns and stinging insect bites.
African Elephants
Structural Adaptations
Relationship with it's young
African Elephant Population
Elephants are one of the most odd-looking creatures on this planet. They are also the largest. Elephants are known for their enormous size, strength and great intelligence. The name comes from the Greek word "elaph" which means "ivory". Elephants cannot jump, but they can easily outrun a human.
African elephants need a lot of space but much more to live. Elephants need places where they can find grasses, trees, herbs and shrubs to eat. They need clean water to drink and streams to bathe in. They also need mud to roll in to protect their skin from stinging insects. Some elephants find their needs in a small area, but others can travel many miles just to find food or water. African elephants live in a variety of habitats such as savannas, forests, marshy areas and lake shores. Some even live in deserts.
An African elephant is a mammal. It is a mammal because it is warm blooded, it breathes air, the female gives birth to live young and nourishes it with milk, it has hair, four appendages, backbones and a large brain.
Animal Class
Behavioral Adaptations
Elephants have a lot of characteristics that can help you tell them apart from Asian and make them unique in different ways. One characteristic that an elephant has is it's large size. A full-grown elephants size depends on the gender and habitat. The male elephant is usually larger than a female, (even when they are at the same age). Elephants also have large and swaybacked ears that are shaped like Africa, smooth flat foreheads, both males and females have visible tusks, two "fingers" at tip of trunk and recognizable ridges on trunk.
Related female African elephants travel in groups of 3-25 elephants with their calves to keep them safe. There are two seasons where elephants live- dry and wet. Elephants migrate during these seasons to get the best food and water. In the dry season elephants try to spend their day around sources of water to keep them hydrated. At night when it is cooler, they move into more open areas to look for food. In the wet season the elephants migrate to the savannas and forests becoming restive because soon the lands will be covered with tender grasses, herbs and shrubs. The elephants migrate to the savannas and forests. To communicate with one another, elephants rumble, trumpet, gurgle and screech. Elephants communicate by using very low-pitched sound called infrasonic sounds which humans can't hear. The infrasonic calls can be heard from up to 6 miles (10 km) away. When an elephant communicates it holds its head, trunk and ears in different ways which all mean something. When an elephant flaps its ears it means it is happy or excited. When an elephant faces danger it will lift its head and spread its ears. This will make them appear larger and more threatening. Elephants also communicate by scent like when an elephant is sick or ready to give birth it will give of an odor to let other family members know so they can help them.
African elephants are herbivores. Adult elephants have huge appetites, eating sometimes around 300 pounds of food in one day. They eat so much food because half of the food passes through their body and doesn't get digested Elephants spend about 16 hours of their day either eating or looking for food. Their diet includes over 400 different species of plants such as acacia seeds and bark, palm trees and a variety of grasses, herbs and shrubs. Some of the elephants favourite foods are wild fruits and berries. An elephant also needs plenty of hydration, an adult can gulp down up to 140 quarts of water in a day. One last thing an elephant needs in their diet is salt. Some of the plants that elephants eat contain very little salt, so they often dig for salty rock in salty rock grounds.
African elephants have such huge bodies that protect them from predators. Humans are the only predators of elephants. They usually kill elephants for ivory which were once used for buttons, piano keys and billiard balls. When it comes to other predators they would be buffalo, impalas, hippopotamus and antelope. Violent fighting between these animals is very rare. When there happens to be a fight with two bull elephants, the fight may end with serious injury or death. An elephant calf may get attacked more easily usually by Nile crocodiles and lions.
When an African elephant calf is born it stays with its mother for 10 to 12 years. It is protected and nurtured by their family unit. A calf can stand within a hour of its birth, the family unit slows down so the calf can keep up with them. Older sisters are very caring. They often protect and play with the calf. The calf slowly learns what and where to eat and drink and how to avoid danger. The family unit gives the calf the protection and care it needs while it learns how to survive.
African elephants have only two relatives - hyraxes and sea cows. Hyraxes are small furry animals that live in the rainforests and rock areas in Africa. Sea cows live in subtropical oceans. These animals are relatives to African elephants because they have the same structure of their teeth, limbs and feet.
Central Africa
217 625
Western Africa
Eastern Africa
127 188
Southern Africa
206 222
In the earlier years poaching was common. The ivory from the African elephants was used for making fancy sculptures, jewelry and piano keys. Many African people didn't like this. They tried stopping them, but many of the countries went through civil war. Which ment there was many weapons which got into poachers hands and were used to quickly kill elephants. About 70 000 elephants were killed each year and 80% of these elephants were poached.
Interesting Facts
1. In zoos, elephants are protected from poachers and other dangers.The zoo always has enough food and water for the elephants.
2.When people visit zoos and see the elephants, they will be inspired to learn about them and protect them in the wild.
3.If something happens to an elephant for example (it is hurt or sick) there is medical care to help them.
1.African elephants need a lot of space to breed. It would be very difficult for zoos to breed enough elephants to save the species.
2.If elephants are born in the zoo they will not be able to learn how to use their natural habitat.
3.God made elephants and humans, just like we have a right to be free, elephants should be free too.
1.African elephants have very heavy skin. One bull elephant weighed 13 200 (5 990 kg) pounds and his skin weighed 1 ton (907 kg).
2.An elephants tusks are strong enough to pierce a car.
3. An elephants tusks break and wear down during the elephants lifetime. I f this didn't happen an elephants tusks could grow up to 5-6m long.
4.When you give an elephant a paintbrush and paint it will most likely paint a picture. Not all elephants can paint or draw.
5.An adult elephant only sleeps about 3 hours a day while a calf sleeps about 5 hours.
6.An elephant doesn't need eyes to know what it's eating, it can tell by scent and touch.
7. When an elephant gets overheated and there is no water around, it collects the water deep down in his stomach with its trunk and sprays the water all over the body.
8.A wild elephants life span is about 70 years.
1.Elephants (book)
9.An elephants height ranges from about 2.5-4m and weighs about 5 000-14 000 lbs.
10.The scientific name for the African elephants is
Loxodonta Africana.
11.Elephants have the longest pregnancy of all animals. They are pregnant for 22 months.
I'm different!
I'm smart!
You're going down!
Relaxing feels good!
I'm a "sea" cow?!
I want to be free!
Should African Elephants be kept in zoos?
African elephants are one of the most popular animals at the zoo! Should we keep elephants in zoos just because we like to look at them? Are zoos prisons where elephants are forced to live in unnatural conditions, or are they a protected place for an endangered species?
I know right!
I'm popular!?
I'm tired!
Full transcript