Animal Awareness Tip: African Elephants
March 4, 2009
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African Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth measuring on average eight to 13 feet high to the shoulder according to National Geographic. They also weigh up to 14,000 pounds at most causing the earth to shake un-relentlessly. For being the world’s largest mammals, however, they are gentle in nature.
African Elephants form herds made up of only females. Males leave at an early age to remain solitary for the remainder of their lives. The matriarchal group consists of related family members where the older elephant holds the power over her daughters and sisters. Sometimes the herd separates into two. The amazing part is that whenever both groups reunite they give each other a warm welcome just like humans do.
In only a few days a year when a female decides to mate, she lifts her head up to produce a low rumbling sound that can be heard for many miles. Once a group of males arrive to the female in estrus, she will choose a mating partner that she feels is the most dominating out of the other bulls. Elephants are said to have the longest gestation period ranging at 22 months which is longer than any other mammal. When the female gives birth, the other members in her group will assist her during the birthing process and will also take a small role in raising her calf.