"Elephants" Big 5 Tip by mvtouring

Big 5, Kruger National Park: 42 reviews and 66 photos

by mvtouring

Vital statistics

Weigh up to 7 000 kg
newborn calves 100 kg
Stand 3 metres shoulder height
Duration of life is 55 to 70 years
Walk at about 10 kmh but will charge at 40 kmh.
Estimated there are ........elephants in the park.

Notes of Interest

The elephant's huge floppy ears are his air conditioner. He flaps them to control his body temperature by cooling the blood in their many blood vessels.

He has 6 sets of teeth in a lifetime to grind up the daily food intake of up to 200 kg of leaves, grasses, twigs and bark.

His tusks, his glory and nemesis, are really overgrown teeth. They are not meant for ivory snooker balls or carved jewellery, the elephant needs them for protection, loosening tree bark or digging for water. The record length is 3,50 metres with a weight of 102 kg.

The elephant's trunk is unique, powered by 40 000 muscles. The last word in handy gadgets which he uses for drinking (up to 100 litres), trumpeting, smelling, investigating and plucking morsels beyond the reach of giraffes

Their herds are led by a matriarch, cow elephant, with her dependent offspring and grown daughters. Males live separately, alone or in bachelor herds.

Sound is important in an elephant's life. They communicate with each other through a low growling which sounds like a rumbling stomach. When frightened they produce high-pitched screams and when angry, a terrifying trumpeting.

The sole of an elephant's foot is like a mosaic pattern, hard, with sharp pieces of the hardened skin standing out so they can walk silently through the bush .

They sleep standing up

Elephants have one calf after a gestation period of 22 months. They have a highly developed social sense and the whole herd will help protect this calf.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 11, 2004
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