African Elephant - Mammals

African Elephant - map of occurrence

African Elephant

Loxodonta africana

conservation status Near Threatened

Weight: 3-10tons (6600-22000lb), females 30% smaller
Shoulder height: 3-4m (10ft - 13ft 2in)
Lenght: 6-9m (18ft -28ft), tusks 0.5-3m (2ft - 10ft)
Wild population: max. 250.000
Lifespan: 60 years
Gestation: 22 months, 1 calf
Voice: vide range of vocal communication
Identification females are smaller than males, males with heavier
tusks and more rounded head then females
Range: south of Sahara except west and south Africa (only in
Kruger NP)
Habitat: forests, lightly wooded country, savannas, thornbush,
semi-arid areas, deserts (in Namibia)

Protecting organisations: African Elephant Specialist Group Save the Elephants African Wildlife Foundation

The largest land mammal - which keeps growing all its life. The largest recorded specimen shot and killed in Angola was 4.2 m high and weighed over 12 tons! The longest known tusks measure more than 3 m and weigh over 100kg. Elephants have a very sensitive sense of smell and great hearing. They can hear infrasound (5-24 Hz - not heard by humans) and use it to communicate over long distances. Also, they are able to hear vibrations in the earth caused by the movement of animals far away and to register changes in atmospheric pressure. These animals, even though capable of running at a speed of more than 40km/h, prefer walking at a similar speed to humans. When walking slowly across the ground, they step lightly and move almost without a sound. When planting their foot, most of their weight is applied only to the ends of their toes which are fused by a gelatinous tissue forming a pillow that functions as the sole and as an absorber. African elephants are social animals and keep together in highly organized groups composed of 10 to 12 females and their young. A dominant female, who is related to each member of the group, acts as the leader. Sometimes these groups temporarily assemble into packs of several hundred elephants. Young males live in separate groups. An older male then lives alone. Elephants reach adult-hood at the age of 25 years.
A group of elephants is able to travel great distances but it always keeps close to water because each elephant needs to drink up to 130-190 liters of water per day and elephants also like to bathe. (Here I would like to make a note about the elephants from the Namib desert, who do not follow this rule.) During its bath, the elephant sprays mud from the bank onto its body with its trunk so as to protect itself not only from bothersome insects but also against over-heating during hot days. When an elephant is content, it moans in a low key. When an elephant becomes alarmed, it makes an intense and short horn sound.
The dominant individual of the group must only twist its tail or stir up dust to keep order. The leader elephant may also make the horn sound during this act. Elephants are herbivores who required up to 225 kg of food a day. In order to consume this quantity of food per day, an elephant must spend 15-18 hours a day eating. This leaves them with about 4 hours a day for sleeping. Furthermore, an elephant's body does not digest this food very well and so only about 35-40% of it is truly utilized. The elephant serves itself food directly into its mouth with its trunk. It has very few teeth and moreover only four molars used for grinding up plants. It can only partially chew up its food and this is why it has such a low digestive efficiency. When an elephant looses all its teeth it begins to starve because it looses its ability to chew its food and thus its stomach is not able to digest the food. This tends to occur at around age 70. In a majority of countries, the African elephant is protected by law and illegal hunting is strictly punished. Unfortunately, mass controlled shootings are used to regulate population because an overpopulated locality decimates the ecosystem which leads to elephants dying from an insufficiency of food. The worst part about these controlled shootings is that the pack must be killed-off to the last young. The reason is because an elephant having undergone such trauma would understandably seek revenge its entire life. This is how intelligent and sensitive elephants are... In South Africa and in Kenya, officials try to transplant elephants to areas where there is less overpopulation in order to not have to use the above mentioned method of massacre.

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - elephants herd dust amboseli
African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - elephants herd dust amboseliAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - huge bull big tusks masai maraAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - elephants walking amboseliAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - drinking elephants Luangwa riverAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - elephants savanna masai maraAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - drinking elephants Luangwa riverAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - bull huge amboseliAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - marsh swamp amboseliAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - calfs detail play samburuAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - horizon storm late afternoon masai maraAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - calf marsh swamp amboseliAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - family samburuAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - calfs play savanna masai maraAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - bull friendly masai maraAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - female masai maraAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - calf masai mara sunsetAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - female masai maraAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - elephants waterhole tusks amboseliAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - bull detail amboseliAfrican Elephant (Loxodonta africana) - elephants drought amboseli
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camera:NIKON D200
lens:Sigma 70-200 mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO HSM
extender:Sigma APO 2.0 EX DG
focal length:270 mm
exposure time:1/500 s
stativ:rýžový stativ / beanbag
location:Amboseli, Kenya