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African Elephants

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Elephants are very complex and highly intelligent creatures. Elephants seem to be fascinated with the tusks and bones of dead elephants and have been seen fondling and examining them. The myth that they carry them to secret “elephant burial grounds” however, has no factual base. Elephants demonstrate concern for other members of their families and take care of the weak or injured members. They even appear to grieve over a dead companion.

Elephants have very hefty dietary needs. The majority of their day is spent eating, drinking, bathing, wallowing, dusting, and playing and only about 3-5 hours resting. They need tremendous amounts of vegetation and can eat up to 5% of their body weight a day, but only digest about 40% of it and drink 30-50 gallons of water. Elephants eat an extremely varied vegetarian diet, including grass, twigs, leaves, bark, fruit, and seed pods. A young elephant must learn how to draw water up into its trunk and pour it into its mouth.

Elephants can be found in just about any conditions, from dark dense forests to the open plains and grasslands as long as there are adequate amounts of food and water to keep up with their whopping diets. Their ideal habitats consist of plentiful grass and browse. Unfortunately, because of poaching for ivory and the destruction of much of the elephant's natural habitat, most African elephants are now restricted to the protection of national parks.

Elephants are the largest living land mammals. Their massive, muscular trunks are used like arms and to do things like, drink water, bathe, pick berries, fight, break tree branches, and even to communicate. Unlike the Asian elephant, which only has one, the African elephant has two finger-like structures at the tip of their trunk. Both male and female African elephants have giant, ivory tusks, a third of which are not visible because it’s inside their skull. The elephant’s ears are used for many things as well, such as, displaying signals like anger and when they flap their ears it circulates the blood and returns it to the body about 9Ð'Ñ" F cooler. The cushiony



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