Latin name: Loxodonta africana
Largest Terrestrial Mammal!
- Weighing up to six tons and standing four meters tall at the shoulder, it is the largest terrestrial mammal. The world record goes to a huge 10-ton male, now exhibited at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington.
- It uses its long and powerful trunk to breathe, smell, drink, grab food and also use it for defense purposes. It contains over 40,000 muscles and tendons, but not a single bone!
- Its tusks, modified incisors, are used to dig in the soil in order to find water, take down trees, break branches or remove bark for food. They can weigh up to 100 kg (220 lbs).
- It has good learning capabilities and its memory is excellent, since it has to remember where the food and water sources are located. Saying that an elephant never forgets is true!
- Since the fifties, the world population of African elephants has declined by about two million individuals. Poaching for ivory as well as the fragmentation of its habitat are the greatest threats to its long-term survival.