The african Elephant is the largest land mammal.



Their trunk is actually an extension of their upper lip and nose breathing through two nostrils at the end of it.  It contains 100,000 muscles and no bones and they can use it to such delicacy to be able to pick a blade of grass.  With it they can suck up 3 gallons of water in one go and spray it over themselves to keep cool.

They are herbivores eating fruits, grasses, bark and roots.  They need to eat 136 kg a day. Their large thin ears, shaped a little like the continent of Africa, act as large radiators allow excess heat to escape.

African elephants move around in herds of females or “cows” with their calves.  Adult male “bulls”only join them during the mating season. They continue to grow throughout their lives which means that the biggest elephant in a herd is usually the oldest.  Their tusks are really extended teeth which also continue to grow.  During their lives they may have 6 sets of teeth but by the time they are 40 - 60 they don’t grow any new ones and so it is not uncommon for them to starve to death.  Indeed an “elephant graveyard” could be such a place where elephants go to look for softer vegetation to eat.  They use their tusks for a number of purposes such as digging up tree roots and stripping bark off trees to eat and digging holes to reach underground water sources.

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