| Latin Name
| Conservation Status
||5 - 7.5 m (16.4 - 24.6 ft)
||1 - 1.5 m (3.25 - 5 ft)
||4 - 7 tonnes (3.9 - 6.9 tons)
| Life Expectancy
55 - 60 Yrs (Wild)
Over 80 yrs (in Captivity)
African Elephants are the largest of all land living animals. They have a head and body length between 5 and 7.5 m (16.4 - 24.6 ft), a tail length between 1 and 1.5 m (3.25 - 5 ft) and they weigh between 4 and 7 tonnes (3.9 - 6.9 tons).
They are coloured grey/brown with a sparse covering of hair. Their head is large and they have large ears that they use to radiate excess heat. Their trunk is large and muscular and both sexes have two, well developed, forward curving tusks, although they are more developed in males.
Their neck is short and they have a large barrel-like body. Their legs are stocky and on their fore feet they have four toes and five toes on their hind feet. Their tail is relatively short and it has long black hair on the tip.
African Elephants are found on the savannah grasslands and desert areas of sub-saharan east and central Africa.
They live in herds made up of related females and their young. The herd is directed by the eldest female known as the matriarch. Males leave the herd when they reach adolescence and form herds with other elephants of the same age. Later on they spread out and live alone, approaching females only during the breeding season.
African Elephants are herbivores and they feed upon fruit, leaves, grass and bark. They will rip apart plants and push down trees in order to feed from them.
On average they will eat around 225 Kgs (496 lbs) of food per day and they will drink approximately 50 gallons of water per day.
They will dig deep holes with their trunk in search of water, some holes being several feet deep. It is thought that they know where to dig to find water due to social interactions with other elephants.
Mating occurs every four years and can happen at any time of the year. Females are only receptive for 3 - 6 days and when she is ready she emits infrasounds that attract males, sometimes from kilometers away.
After mating occurs both elephants go their separate ways and 1 calf is born after a 22 month gestation period. The calf weighs approximately 100 Kgs (220 lbs) and stands at 90 cms (35 inches) high. Just a few days after it is born it is able to follow the herd.
The calf will eat solid foods from about 6 months old, but it will continue to feed on its mothers milk until is it approximately 5 years old.
Female African Elephants remain fertile until they are approximately 60 years of age.
The main predator to adult African Elephants are humans. Young elephants, especially new borns, are vulnerable to attack from lions and crocodiles, and occasionally from leopards and hyenas.
There are no subspecies of African Elephant
African Elephants are also known as:
African Bush Elephant
African Savannah Elephant
The 22 month gestation period for African Elephants is the longest among mammals.