African elephant

African elephant
Afrikanischer Elefant (Loxodonta africana)
African elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Subclass: Higher mammals (Eutheria)
putting above: Afrotheria
order: Trunk animals (Proboscidea)
family: Elephant (Elephantidae)
kind: Loxodonta
kind: African elephant
scientific name
Loxodonta africana
flower brook, 1797

the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is a kind of the elephants. It is the largest still living land country in the world . That in former times as subspecies of the African elephant regarded forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) is mostly regarded today as independent kind. The distinction from this Loxodonta becomes africanaalso as a steppe elephant designates.

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an African elephant bull becomes forusually 320 cm highly and 5,000 kg heavily. Exeptionally bulls can reach also a height of 400 cm and weigh 7,500 kg. Cows are smaller and more easily than bulls, on average become them 250 cm high and 2,800 kg heavily. The head fuselage length amounts to 600 to750 cm, the tail is somewhat longer than 100 cm.

Contrary to the asiatic or Indian elephants both the males and the females possess stosszähne. They can be difficult with the male occasionally to 3 m long and 100 kg. The largest found perStosszahn measures 3.5 M. With the bull the stosszähne a life grow long both into the length and into the width. The stosszähne of the cow grow 15 after that. Lebensjahr only in the length and this with a very much slower speed than withBull; they work therefore slimmer than those of the bull. The stosszähne are used to the ditch, Stochern and for defense and thus worn out.

The most remarkable difference to the asiatic elephant are the many larger ears, which can reach a diameter of 2 m. At the trunk end possessesthe African elephant of two “fingers “, the Indian elephant only one. At the front feet it carries usually only four and at the hind feet usually three toes. The asiatic elephant against it has five in front and four in the back. The number of toes is however nonesafe distinguisher.

Elephants cannot sweat. Only over the well supplied with blood ears, which are flowed through by up to 14 litres blood per minute, surplus warmth can be delivered. Their size explains. Otherwise cooling itself elephants also gladly in the water.


Once African elephants were common from the Mediterranean coast to the cape of good hope. Elephants can live it in different Habitaten, presupposed, are shade, water and sufficient fodder available. Today they seem to the seeing era mainly in savannahs south . Most animals live in national park.

In deserts there are usually no elephants. An exception forms the Namibwüste, in which there is a population with special adjustments to this dry habitat. In the mountains one finds elephants occasionally at heights up to 5.000 m; their preferential habitat lies however inFlat country.

African elephants need a water place, which they can visit once daily in their habitat. If it permits the water level, they bathe gladly and let only the trunk sometimes out-see.

way of life and reproduction

Herde von Elefanten in Namibia
herd of elephant in Namibia

African elephants are dayas night active. They mostly rest during the midday heat and/or after midnight, by being because of the soil or sleeping (more frequently) against a tree leaned.

The herds are led by old dominant factors a guidance cow. On average such a herd covers ten cows with its new generation. If herdsmeet one another, unite they sometimes occasionally to loose federations, which can cover several hundred animals. The guidance cow holds the herd together and keeps its position up to death. Then usually their oldest daughter takes over their rank. Males are only as young animals part of a herd;if they reach puberty with eight years, they are driven out by the older cows. Often young males are to own bachelor federations together, before they are strong enough, in order to survive as loners.

Attained full growth bulls associate only with the Begattung with the herds. Elephant cowsonly in each case few days are fertilizable. This Östrus can occur at arbitrary season. The boys are born therefore all year round, the carrying time amount to about 22 months. Usually only one young comes to the world, Zwillingsgeburten occurs into 1 to 2% of the cases. A young elephantabout 100 kg weigh and know a half hour after its birth. It is sucked about one year. The sex-ripe can be achieved already in the tenth Lebensjahr, often in addition, only some years later. Bulls are their twentieth Lebensjahr ago not strongly enough, thatTo intersperse requirement on a mating.

A herd puts for each day back 12 km on the average. Their speed amounts to thereby 10 km/h. If necessary, elephants however also 40 km/h can run fast.

Usually elephants are peaceful. However elephant cows with very young calves become fast aggressively,if one approaches them too much. The bulls are particularly attack merry to the Musth and fight with competitors for the right to pair itself with a cow. Both sexes threaten, by lifting the trunk, which swivel ears, dust arise and the head andvibrate ago. Of the attack with loud trumpets one warns. Fights are fast decided mostly, in some cases can furious bulls however deadly wounds with their stosszähnen cause itself.

Elephant in the jug he national park, South Africa

the Musth, one period of increased Testosteron - production with the bull, steps aboutstarting from that 25. Lebensjahr up. A bull in the Musth is at the secretion elimination from glands behind the eye to recognize constant urination and increased aggressiveness. The Musth takes only few days at the beginning of, but the older an elephant bull becomes, the longer persists this condition.Finally it can amount to three months and more. Bulls in the Musth are opposite others, which are not in the Musth, dominance. In the fight they often are superior if the competitor appears stronger and larger.

African elephants are up to 55. Lebensjahr fruitfully.Their life expectancy amounts to seventy years.


the African elephant nourishes itself of grasses, roots, barks, wood, game fig sheets and different fruits. In shank they get hay predominantly. They spend 16 to 20 hours with foods. On the dayan elephant eats from about 200 to 300 kg.

With elephants the worn out teeth up to seven times renew themselves. After the last teeth worn out are, an elephant is dependent on softer food. Very old elephants look for therefore sumps up, around the there grasses tooeat, and in the long run they die at such places. This circumstance, which drives old elephants all to a place, led to the legend around the “elephant cemeteries in such a way specified”.

For elephants water is extremely important, from which they need daily 100 to 150 litres. The knowledgeof water places and/or. the search for it is crucial for surviving particularly during the drying time.

ecological meaning

elephants coin/shape in very strong measure their environment. Thus they spread that of the acacias for example with its dung plant seed as for instance. The nutrient-rich dungin addition by termites and Mistkäfern one under-digs, which provide thereby also for a ventilation of the soil. And of the water holes widened dug by them or also different animal species profit.

A too high population density is able to damage also the environment of the elephants lastingly. Thus that becameTree existence in the Kenyan Tsavo east national park during the 1970er years destroys to a large extent, which afterwards - beside the Wilderei (see below) - to the dramatic decrease of the elephant existence contributed.

humans and African elephant


different than the asiatic elephant is the African kindprobably never made the domestic animal. Partially this is justified with the higher aggressiveness and more difficult tough mbarness of the African elephant. It gave however in recent time of attempts to zähmen also African elephants. Here it was pointed that can succeed, African elephants to work inputsto train; at some places they transport tourists.

It is disputed from where the war elephants Karthagos came. Because the Zähmung of African elephants was considered impossible for a long time, many specialists assume that the used elephants must have been descendants of asiatic animals. Other experts deny this and argue that thoseNorth African subspecies today any longer does not admit is and than their more southern relatives was possibly more friedfertiger. This subspecies (Loxodonta africana pharaonensis) is to be assigned to the forest according to opinion of some rather as the steppe elephant. The last representatives died in the center 19. Century in Eritrea out.

hunt and Wilderei

the hunt for ivory and the Wilderei contributed to let elephant populations in many parts of Africa shrink. In the savannahs of west Africa died elephants at the beginning 20. Century likewise from as in South Africa. Today in South AfricanNational park living elephant was in-patriated later from neighboring countries. Still between 1950 and 1980 in the savannahs of East Africa about 500,000 elephants were shot.

Today there is a constant amount increased, which some states even moved have in East Africa and particularly in the states of the southern Africa,to demand a readmission of controlled hunt for ivory production. The IUCN, which had led the African elephant for a long time as a threatened animal species, gradated it 2004 into lower rank “endangered” back. Since still into the 1980ern becoming extinct the kind for 2010 was prophesied, are theseInventory development pleasing. They were caused also by the fact that 1989 the European union, which the USA and Japan the ivory import had stopped; at the same time the kind was set at that time on the appendix I of the CITES - agreement. In the meantime the African elephant for Botswana , Namibia , became Simbabwe andSouth Africa into the appendix II back staged.


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