Elephant

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An elephant is a very large terrestrial mammal, related to the ungulates.

The african elephant is the largest land animal in the world.

Appearance[edit]

Elephants have bare, grey, leathery skin, a huge, rounded body, and very thick legs. The legs end in flat, round feet, and are cushioned by a layer of fat in the soles.

The elephant's nose is a long, prehensile feature called a trunk, which is highly mobile and can act a little like a hand, to manipulate objects. The two nostrils are located at the tip of the trunk. The trunk can also be used like a hosepipe, expelling water at high velocity. The trunk of the elephant can weigh up to 300 pounds.

The elephant has very large ears, which are fairly mobile. The large surface area of the ears assists the elephant in removing heat from the body.

Beneath the trunk, elephants have a pair of tusks; modified teeth that grow out from the sides of the mouth. These can grow very large. Males generally have large tusks; the females of some species have shorter ones.

There are two kinds of elephants; the African and the Asian or Indian elephant. The African elephant lives on the African savannah, while the Asian elephants lives in jungles in India and Malaysia. Both kinds are herbivores.

Elephants in the wild consume grass, leaves and such, with a high percentage of water, and may eat up to 300 kgs/day. In captivity they eat about 30 kg hay, 10 kg carrots or similar, and 5-10 kg of bread. Some zoos give a "breakfast" of different grains, about 3-10 kg.

See also[edit]