Latin name: Elephantidae
size: up to 3.5m
mass: 3000 - 5000kg
Older: 30 - 60 years
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Plants, leaves, grass, wood
distribution: Africa and Asia
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal / nocturnal
habitat: Steppe, savanna, rainforest
natural enemies: Lion, tiger
sexual maturity: about 10 years
mating season: all year round
gestation: 20 - 22 months
litter size: 1 cub
social behavior: Herd animal
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the elephant
- African and Asian elephants are easily distinguished by their ears. The African elephant lives in hotter areas and therefore has significantly larger ears (see picture), through which he can give off excess body heat.
- Elephants can not sweat.
- Elephants communicate via (inaudible to humans) infrasound sounds. In this way, elephants can talk to each other over long distances (more than 10km).
- Because of its tusks, the elephant population is threatened by hunters. The precious ivory scores on the black market prices of several thousands of euros.
- Elephants spend most of their day foraging. This is also necessary, because a full-grown elephant must eat between 150 and 250kg every day.
- If an elephant dies from the herd, the other elephants mourn it for days. Often an elephant herd returns even after years to the place of the deceased elephant.
- Only the female elephants form herds together with their young. As a loner, the males encounter only in the mating season to the herd.
- A group of elephants usually has no natural enemies to fear. Only in exceptional cases (sick or especially young elephants) does the lion or tiger succeed in capturing an elephant.
- At birth, a young elephant already weighs well over 100kg. That's why most elephants give birth to only one calf per litter.
- The education of young elephants is taken over by the whole group.
- The elephant's trunk consists of over 40,000 muscles and serves the elephant as nose and gripping organ.