Did you know that elephants grieve over their dead family members? They have been recorded to show an interest in dead elephants, often examining their bones and tusks.
Photo: Anuradha Marwah.
One of the most loved animals on our planet is also the largest living mammal on land. It is of course, the elephant! Its most unique feature is its trunk or proboscis. After all, it is the longest nose in the animal kingdom. It is really a combination of its nose and upper lip and has over 40,000 muscles that allow the elephant to feed, drink, defend itself and interact with members of the herd. Elephants spend about 16 to 18 hours a day eating. Though it may browse on leaves, it mainly prefers to graze on grass. For such a large animal, it has surprisingly small eyes and poor eyesight. However, its brain is the largest of all land mammals, no wonder, it is considered to be an intelligent and sensitive animal. Its long tail is used, not only to dislodge flies and insects, but also, as a handle by calves for security or guidance.
The African elephant is larger in size than the Asian elephant found in India. An African elephant’s ears are three times the size of the Asian elephant’s. However, the functions remain the same. The large ears help to adjust the body temperature and also help the animal hear over remarkably long distances.
Author: Sanctuary Asia, First appeared in: Sanctuary Cub, May 2014.