The Largest Land Mammals On Earth: the African Elephant


African Elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth today – yet they only eat salad.

All elephants have close bonds with their family. Once a calf is born, the mother raises its baby. When a male elephant reaches puberty around the age of 14, he joins a family when a female is ready to mate.

Female elephants are known as cows. Female elephants usually live with family members but occasionally they live with another family unit. Every elephant herd has one mature female ruler. Female rulers have a better way of communicating with others.

All elephants have a way of communicating. They communicate by using body language. When elephants feel endangered, they raise their trunk in the air and make a trumpeting noise as a warning signal to their enemies.

If the enemies decide to ignore the warning, the elephant will charge straight towards them. When the conflict is over the elephant throws up dust.

Elephants are vegetarians. They can only eat fruits, twigs, small branches, and grass. Elephants can eat up to 500 pounds of vegetation and 40 gallons of water in a day. Elephants use their trunk to transfer water into their mouth, feed themselves, and bathe. Elephants bathe daily and prefer to be covered up all the way in mud. They travel large distances but always stick close to water.

Elephants may seem big and bold creatures but they are social animals who have a close bonds with their family.

[Sources: Wildlife Fact File; Encyclopedia of Mammals]

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