Elephants | Elephantidae

Elephants are the largest existing land mammals and can be found in Africa and Asia. Elephants used to be a common animal, but their species have been severely depleted due to poaching for their ivory tusks. Female elephants live in groups with other females and their calves and are led by one matriarch. Male elephants tend to live alone, interacting only with the groups of females for mating season. Elephants have the largest gestation term of any mammal, with the mothers carrying their young for 22 months before giving birth.

What do elephants eat?

An elephant has a vegetarian diet, and eats between 330 – 375 pounds (149 – 169 kg) of vegetation and drinks 40 gallons (152 L) of water every day. Elephants eat grasses, small plants, bushes, fruits, twigs, tree bark, and roots. They eat between 16 to 18 hours a day – 80% of an elephant’s day is spent eating.

How fast can elephants run?

Elephants can typically run up to a speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) and most African elephants typically have a speed of 15 mph (25km/h). They are able to move fast over short distances when they feel threatened. While running they always have one 1 foot on the ground, as they are too heavy to take all their feet off the ground.

How do elephants sleep?

Elephants in captivity are able to sleep between 3 to 7 hours a day and lay down for 1 to 5 hours while eating between naps. Elephants in the wild usually rest for 2 hours at night and are able to 46 hours without sleep to avoid predators. Elephants lie down to sleep or stand and lean against a tree for support.

Elephants

African Elephant
Drawing with length and height dimensions of an African Elephant from the side compared to a person

Elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth. These herbivorous animals are identified by their unique features such as their long trunks for breathing, gathering water, and grabbing objects, ivory tusks used as weapons and tools for foraging, and large ears that flap to control body temperature. Elephants tend to stay near bodies of water and various species have adapted to savannahs, forests, deserts and marsh environments. Though elephants are listed as both vulnerable and endangered today, when protected in the wild they can live up to 70 years.

The typical African Elephant has an overall height of 8’3”-13’ (2.5-4 m) and body length of 10’-16’6” (3-5 m). An average African Elephant weighs between 5,500-15,400 lb (2,500-7,000 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 70 years.

Illustrations of an African Elephant standing from the side, front, and back and laying down
Elephants are the largest land mammals on Earth. These herbivorous animals are identified by their unique features such as their long trunks, ivory tusks, and large flapping ears.

The typical African Elephant has an overall height of 8’3”-13’ (2.5-4 m) and body length of 10’-16’6” (3-5 m). An average African Elephant weighs between 5,500-15,400 lb (2,500-7,000 kg) and has a typical lifespan of 70 years.

Illustrations of an African Elephant standing from the side, front, and back and laying down
African Elephant
Height:
8’3”-13’ | 2.5-4 m
Width:
Length:
10’-16’6” | 3-5 m
Depth:
Weight:
5,500-15,400 lb | 2,500-7,000 kg
Area:
Loxodonta
Lifespan
70 years

Drawings include:
Elephant side (standing), front, back, side (laying down)

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