There are three distinct elephant species, which include the Asian elephant, African Forest elephant, and African Savanna elephant. According to researchers, African elephants have ears that are much larger than their ancestors and are shaped like the continent of Africa. In contrast, the ears of Asian elephants are similar in shape to the Indian subcontinent.
The African Savanna elephant holds the title as the largest land animal in the world. Adult male bull elephants can grow to be 3 meters tall and weigh an average of 6,000 kilos. However, it takes a long time for males to reach their maximum size, typically not until they are 35-40 years old. Even young calves are impressively enormous, weighing up to 120 kilograms or 19 stone.
Did you know that an elephant’s trunk has over 150,000 muscle cells? Asian elephants have been observed to be quite dexterous with their trunks, picking up peanuts, shelling them, blowing out the shells, and then eating the nut. The trunks of these animals may be the most delicate parts of any mammal. Elephants drink water by using their trunks to suck it up, which they can hold up to 8 liters of. They can even use their trunks as a snorkel when swimming.
The diet of elephants can vary according to the season and their environment. They consume a variety of food, including grasses, leaves, fruits, shrubs, and roots. In arid regions, elephants tend to consume more woody plant parts and animal matter like twigs, bark, and branches. These majestic creatures need to consume up to 150 kg of food per day, which roughly equates to about 375 cans of baked beans. However, up to half of this amount may not be digestible. If you’re interested, you can watch a thrilling video below of two massive elephants clashing tusks in a fierce battle.