The african Elephant is the largest land mammal.



Order: Proboscidea

Family: Elephantidae

Species: Loxodonta

Distribution: Africa south of the Sahara. They are divided into two sub-species - the savannah/bush (Loxodonta africanaand forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis).

Habitat: Savanna grassland, forest.

Size: It is the largest land mammal.

Male - height 3.3m at shoulder weight up to 6000kg, (same as 10 small cars!)

Female - weight up to 4000kg. They can grow up to 4 m tall - the height of coach/bus!

Gestation: 22 months giving birth every 2 - 4 years.  This is the longest known gestational period of any animal.  The elephant foetus stays inside the womb for almost two years to allow its big brain to grow and mature, enabling it to use its dexterous trunk, recognise the complex social structure of the herd and stand up within half an hour of being born.

Life-span: 60 years - more than 80 years in captivity.

Speed: The fastest elephants can charge at speeds of up to 40km/hr. (25 mph).

Read More: Behaviour

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