In the world today live only two species of elephant – African elephant and the Indian elephant – who have two relatives who do not like: shy pig ant and porcaviile like rabbits.
Today elephants are the largest and heaviest land animal in addition to the incisor teeth are longer, have the longest nose and may have the best memory. With all their weight several tons displacement can be called nimble. In the forest, if necessary sneaks quietly. These,, gentle giants „are sentient beings and emotional sense, living in close contact with family members and other members of the flock. Unfortunately, these animals were sold without their incisors man mercy – for precious ivory – and the number of individuals of the two species began to decline in an alarming way.
Male African elephant species may exceed weight of 6 tons. Head weight may be one quarter of body weight. This part of the body, in addition to considerable weight, is charged with the means of obtaining food – trunk, fildeşii, molars for chewing, giant jaw muscles.
Fildeşii elephants are elongated teeth – incisor change – which are used to remove soil and roots of trees peeling. Male elephants use their struggles fildeşii in establishing hierarchical order, pre-mating struggle. Unlike teeth grow throughout life fildeşii elephant. There was that old male African elephant ivory can be over 3 meters.
Elephant head is supported by a short neck, powerful. The elephant that can not bend your head to gather food. This deficiency was removed from the process of evolution by developing trunk, resulting in lengthening muscular upper lip and nose. This admirable body of the elephant is made of thousands of muscle and is used for a multitude of tasks, including picking fruit, water extraction, breaking branches and digging roots.
Trunk is so sensitive to smells and to the touch, elephants use it to identify an elephant both foreign and sending greeting to family members or pair the comfort you want.
Huge elephant body movement is not difficult. Legs short and robust shared equally weight on four legs. Like the horse, and elephant walking on toes.Scattered bones of the fingers are supported by a foot and a rounded heel consists of a spongy tissue. Foot thick skin covering melts and recover continuously. Contrary misshapen appearance, the elephant is an animal alert and not afraid of any form of relief: easily cross the marshes and rocky terrain, leaving few traces on solid ground.
This giant of the land is doing well and swimming: using his trunk as high breathing tube, traverseză swimming in rivers and lakes.
African and Indian elephant elephant
There are two species of elephants: the African and Indian. The most visible difference between them is that the African elephant is bigger and heavier. There are different size ears and ivory. Indian elephant skull is more prominent than that of the African.
All elephants, especially the Africans, over the millennia have had to adjust to different habitats. When most of the territory was covered by trees, all living in forests. Later, with climate, land and appearance changed and today’s elephants live and wooded areas and grassy savannahs with. Savannah elephants living in the territories south of the Sahara Desert, however the forest, in West Africa are up in the valleys of the Congo. Most Indians live in the forest elephants, but elephants are among them and even plain or swamp. The latter are particularly at risk.
Elephants are herbivorous. In addition to forests and savannas consume grass and other plants with soft stems, leaves of trees, various fruit and flowers, even branches, stems or roots of trees. They have to eat enormous amounts of energy to meet the needs of their huge body to complete its materials forming tissues.Most of the days they spend in search of food, to ensure high needs vitamins and minerals in the body. One day, in about 16 hours, an elephant can consume up to 225 kg of food.
The elephant uses its trunk and the thirst. He needs plenty of water – the African elephant 5 liters of water meaning a sip. Flush the tube, close the holes in the end, then bend their trunk so that the end to them in the mouth, and then discharge the contents. All these are easy to learn, so often feels young elephants mouth water.
Elephants go through many miles daily to procure food and water you need. In Africa, the dry season, many roads must to find a refuge. Follow the same routes every year and if they find water somewhere, do not forget this place ever.
Indian elephant living in places with a more uniform climate, the forests more often and therefore should not be too long for the water never road.
Mature males live alone or with other males, but females with young form large families. Each herd is led by such old female who is related to each adult member of the flock, but is already too harsh for reproduction. It is the most experienced, she decides where to go herd, what to eat, what to drink and when to rest.
Sometimes the flock is affected by the males mate with females that develop but do not take part in the rearing of young. Fight for mating ability is hard – sometimes deadly.
The African elephant gestation lasts 22 months, the Indian elephant is 21 months, and usually bear a single female offspring.
Newborn baby weight is around 100 kg and his height is about 1 meter. Two years is nursing, but in the meantime learn to use the trunk and to chew grass and bushes. Male offspring reached the threshold of maturity – about 14 years – are driven from the flock, lest to mate with family members, young females remain with the herd life, and to help increase first birth younger offspring.
Family members are bound together by strong ties, all helps to increase and defense of offspring. Sometimes, when elephants meet, run at each other and greeting sound out like a bugle. If everything is ok, flock members are quiet, out a deep grunt but if the herd is threatened by something, mormăitul cease and adults formed a circle around the chicken.
They behave very interesting if any member of the flock died. Often remain around the corpse, touch it, caress it and sometimes even try burial. If an elephant dies, his mother almost it grieves. It was noted several times that the mother elephant grabbed the baby dead, and brought in a hidden place and stayed with him for several days.
The only source of elephant ivory are incisors. This material was always prized by humans. Back when there were still cars and guns, were hard to hunt elephants and only a few people fell victim. Today, with the automotive field can be easily reached from behind and with modern weapons can be shot from a great distance. A huge number of elephants were slaughtered for their ivory and these wonderful animals have reached the brink of extinction. In 1979 Africa 1.3 million live in the wild because of poaching of elephants but this number fell to 600,000 in 1989.
Because of concern about the fate of the world were introduced in 1989 elefanţilorîn international restrictions on trade in ivory. This measure has proved very beneficial. Due to decreased demand for ivory restriction, low prices and thus have fallen and illegal trade. The number of African elephants living in the wild in 1995 was around 600,000.
Indian elephant – as a species – is a more difficult situation. Due to reduced habitat in the wild live from 35,000 to 54,000 copies, mostly in India. 16,000 other copies are kept as domestic animals in different countries in Asia.
Kruger National Park in South Africa 8,000 elephants live. According to park authorities surface can not feed a larger population, so their reproduction is still limited. Sometimes elephants are transferred to other parks, but it slows and existing population, ie a relatively painless method, a set number of elephants are killed. Following this activity annually sacrificed 300-400 copies. The products of slaughtered animals is recovered equally. Many countries criticize this procedure, because there are fears that with the advent of legal ivory market will increase demand for ivory poachers offered. National Park is looking for other ways to maintain the population of elephants at a certain level.
An unlikely relationship
Nowadays the only two species of elephants are herbivores with trunk. The move millions of years ago family tube animals (Proboscidae) counted 350 species.Manatees and dugongs evolved from these extinct animals and so are distant relatives of elephants. Among animals living today, giant elephants have close relatives but also a pig porcaviilor anthill and family. The elephants, pigs and porcaviile belong copitatelor ant. Every species claws and nails have become flattened, the first step in forming the feet, but later in the development levels in this group have not yet produced.