A baby elephants looks tiny when you see it beside its huge moth er, but it was about one meter tall when it was born and weighed over 90 kilograms. It will grow up inside its mother for twenty-one months. Usually
the mother elephant doesn’t have another calf until the first calf is about 3 years old. It drinks milk from its mother’s teats until it is about five.
The Indian elephant is about 3 m tall at the shoulder. The tusks are about 1 m long, usually less. Females, called cows, have only little tusks or none at all.
African male, called bulls, are much larger than the Indian elephants and have bigger ears. They have a dip in their backs and their tusks are very long. African cows have tusks too.
The elephant’s nearest living relation is a small furry creature called a hyrax. These ones live in rocky holes in Africa. They don’t look much like elephants but their feet have a similar structure.
The elephant’s other closest relatives are the sea-cows. This one is a manatee. They live in the water and are rather timid. Sea-cows are like elephants in many ways, particularly their teeth. Some oven have small tusks.
Indian female elephant that lives in Nepal have small ears and the single point at the end of her trunk.
Elephants can live in all sorts of country. They can survive well in the open grassland. It flaps it huge ears to help keep it cool in the hot African sunshine.
Elephants can live wherever they can get food. They are vegetarian and need to eat up to hundred kilos a day. They use their trunks to tear up plants and strip trees.
They use their tusks to dig for salt. Elephants also dig holes in dry river beds to find water.
Elephants drinks an amazingly amount of water. They need about two hundreds litters every day. The elephant sucks up about four litters in its trunk at a time then squirts the water down its throat. It can also use its trunk to squirt water over itself when bathing.
Elephants love to bath. They are good swimmers and like to play in the water.
They live together in herds of thirty until fourty animals. They are often bothered by flies and other insects, so as well as going in the water. They often take much baths.
Most elephants are peaceful animal but a charging elephant is a terrifying sight.
Elephants are very intelligent animals. In India they are treated with respect. They are also used as working animal.
Source: animalsin the wild ‘Elephant’ by Mary Hoffman.