Thursday, October 2, 2008

African Elephant

African Elephants are the largest land animal on earth. They are slightly larger than there African cousins. A elephant's ears help to keep the animal cool in hot weather by flapping there ears back and forth. Also African elephants enjoy water they suck up water and spray it on themselves or each other. They can also use there trunks as a snorkel when they go into deeper water. They often spray them selves with a protective coating of dust. The trunk contains over 100,000 mussels! Both male and female have tusks males will use them to fight for a female and the females will use them for protection of there young. they also may use the tusks to dig for food and water and strip bark from trees. Because ivory is so valuable to some humans, many elephants have been killed for their tusks. This trade is illegal today, but it has not been completely eliminated, and some African elephant populations remain endangered. Elephants eat roots, grasses, fruit, and bark, and they eat a lot of these things. An adult elephant can consume up to 300 pounds of food per day. These large animals do not sleep much they have to keep eating to sustain their massive bodies. Female elephants (cows) live in family herds with their young, but adult males (bulls) tend to roam on their own. Having a baby elephant is a serious commitment. Elephants have a longer pregnancy than any other mammal almost 22 months! At birth, elephants already weigh some 200 pounds and stand 3ft tall. African elephants, unlike their Asian relatives, are not easily domesticated. But can be trained and are mainly kept in zoos. Very few zoos have African elephants because its quite hard to capture them out from the wild unless they are injured or born in captivity.