African Bush Elephant

The African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana), is the larger of the two species of African elephants (he other being the African Forest Elephant). This particular elephant is also known as the African Elephant, Bush Elephant, or Savanna Elephant. The Bush Elephant is found in areas of limited forest, partial desert, and grassy lands. Elephants are herbivorous and eat many sources of plants and shrubbery. Elephants living near fertile lakes will even digest underwater plant life.

The African Bush Elephant is the largest living land dwelling animal. It normally reaches 19.7 to 24 feet in length and 9.8 to 11.5 feet in height at the shoulder. Adults weigh a massive 15,000 to 22,000 pounds (7.5 to 11 tons). The largest recorded living elephant weighed 13.5 tons and stood 13.8 feet high. This elephant usually moves at about 4 mph, but can attain speeds of 25 mph when frightened or enraged.

The animal is characterized by its large head, two large ears that cover the shoulders and radiate excess heat, a large muscular trunk, two prominent tusks, and a relatively short tail. The body is large and barrel-like, the neck is short, and the legs are long and heavy. The tusks are well developed, but more-so on the male. The skin is heavy but flexible. It is covered in undeveloped patches of hair. The back feet have three toes, which form a hoof, while the front feet vary from four to five toes.

The bush elephant has 4 large molars, two in each mandible of the jaw. Over time these molars wear away and are replaced with new ones. At age 15 their milk teeth are replaced by new teeth that last till the age of 30. More teeth grow in and those last another 10 years. The last set grows in around age 40 and last until age 65-70. Not long after that, the elephant dies of starvation from not being able to eat correctly.

These animals typically ingest an average of 225 kg of vegetal matter daily, which is defecated without being fully digested. That, combined with the long distances that they can cover daily in search of more food, contributes notably to the dispersion of many plant seeds that germinate in the middle of a nutrient-filled feces mound. Elephants rip apart all kind of plants, and knock down trees with the tusks if they are not able to reach the tree leaves. Elephants also drink over 190 liters of water daily.