In recent years elephant populations have declined drastically as a result of deforestation which causes loss of inhabitant. Also elephants are killed for illegal ivory trades. Compared to Asian elephants African elephants are more threatened. In 1996 elephants were listed as endangered animals by International union for Conservation of Nature and its changes its status to vulnerable as in 2004.
Elephants are the largest terrestrial animal on earth. They belong to the family of Elephantidae. Elephants are by nature a very peaceful animal. But when they feel threatened or sick they behave very aggressively. Elephants are also more likely to behave aggressively when it concerns their young members of family. They communicate with each other by touching, making sounds and smelling using their trunk. According to the researchers, most of the verbal communication that elephants do is below the range of hearing frequency of humans and when they make the communication it can travel miles to reach the other. This helps to maintain their social connection with the other members of the herd.
Mainly there are two species of elephants based on their continent of origin. I.e. Asian and African elephants. Further there can be seeing two different elephants in Africa. They are namely African Bush Elephant African Forest Elephant
Both African bush elephants and forest elephants share a lot of similarities; socially and behavioral patterns. But recent research shows that they are genetically distinct from each other.
African Bush Elephants
The African bush elephant, scientifically known as Loxodonta Africana, lives mostly in the grasslands and the semi-desert area within the range Central and Southern part of Africa, An average height of adult male is about 10 feet around weighing about 6,000kg. And the female is approximately around little over 9 feet of height.
The African bush elephant with striped legs stands out for its large flat ears and long trunk. The reason they have large flat ears is to control the body temperature. Its trunk is said to be strong enough to carry a weight equal to 3% of his own body weight which is approximately 6 feet in length and weighs about 140kg. Another important physical character is their tusk. It takes the shape of the curve outwards. Tusks can be visible at the very young age of 1 – 3 year for the first time and grow bigger over the period. Longest tusk ever found was reported as 11.5ft which weighed about 117kg. Usually at the age around 60 years the tusk will be 109 kg and 17.7 kg of weight in male and female elephants respectively.
When male elephants attend the sexual maturity starts to look for the partner. They listen to female sounds and contact them from far distance.once they communicate with female partner leave a strong trail of urine which traces back to him.
African elephants can breed once in 3 to 9 years and gestation spreaded to 22 months. When the time of labour female members of the herd stay with the pregnant female where the male members stay in close proximity to the birthing area. During the labour female release some fluid from her ears and temporal and stay stand throughout the labour. New born can stand and walk by themselves within 20 minutes.Their life span is estimated to be 70 to 75 years and in the 11th year female maturity whereas male attend at the 15 years.
Elephants are herbivores in nature. One can consume 130kg of food and their water consumption is around 180L per day. They consume mostly grasses and herbs mostly.
African Forest Elephant
African Forest elephant another species of african elephant commonly find in congo and west africa. African forest elephant also known as Loxodonta Cyclotis.
African forest elephants are much smaller than bush elephants. The built forest male and female elephants are around 7.9 to 9.8 feet of height and 5.9 to 7.9 feet of height respectively.
The African forest elephant has striped legs, large flat ears which take oval shape and long trunk. Unlike bush elephants, forest elephants have straight downward tusks. Tusks can be around 5 feet lengthy and weigh about 23 to 45 kg.
Even though both bush and forest elephants have more similarity in breeding methods. Forest elephants do not attend sexual maturity until 14 years to 17 years. The older they are, the more successful in mating. Females can conceive once in every 3 to 9 years throughout the year. The life span of forest elephants is estimated to be 70 years.
African forest elephant and African bush elephant