Elephants belong to the only surviving family of the provost Cydia order the most well known ancient animals that belong to this order are mammoths and mastodons, today science recognizes only two extant elephant species African elephant and Asian elephant although some scientists classify African bush elephants and African forest elephants as separate species. people in Asia have greatly relied on the help of Asian elephants for the last 4,000 years, but the overall number of elephants, and the world is dropping at a record pace, and unless international community acts now these animals could soon go extinct within 20 years mainly due to the loss of habitat. it should be pointed out that elephants are important to keeping the wildlife diversity elephants dispersed fruits and their seeds.
The importance of Elephant in wildlife
It should be pointed out that elephants are important to keeping the wildlife diversity. Elephants dispersed fruits and their seeds, they create gaps in forest canopy that gives small plants enough sunlight to grow. at the turn of the 20th century, there were a few million African elephants and about 100,000 Asian elephants, today the estimated population of African elephants is lower than 700,000 while the population of African elephants fluctuates between 35,000 to 40,000 wild species, scientists predict that the further decrease in elephant population could lead to the decline of biodiversity in Asian forests. as a result the ecosystems of whole regions could lose supplies of food and water, As well as critically important plants that have medical significance.
Claiming the title of the largest extant terrestrial animals, elephants can reach 13 feet in height and can weigh close to 15,000 pounds elephant’s body organs are also immense in size their hearts weigh close to 46 pounds but only make about 30 beats per minute. elephants also have the largest brain of any land mammal it is almost four times larger than that of humans but humans have a better brain to body mass ratio elephants also have the greatest volume of cerebral cortex available for cognitive processing compared to other animals.
An elephant’s trunk is a fusion of nose and upper lip and is one of the most distinctive characteristics of this animal. The trunk is made up of 60000 muscles and baby elephants spend up to two years learning how to use this important organ. In general elephants use their trunks for breathing, olfaction, lifting wate,r touching grasping, and producing sounds. with over 40,000 receptors scattered over the trunk. elephants have an excellent sense of smell which is believed to be four times more sensitive than that of a bloodhound. possessing incredible control over its trunk an elephant uses it to collect food usually grasses and herbs leaves and fruit farm crops or bark and lifts objects up to 700 pounds in weight. when the animal is thirsty, the trunk that can hold up to 2 gallons of water is used to transfer drinking water into the mouth cavity. when underwater the elephant uses its trunk as a snorkel and finally elephants are known to use their trunks for an unusual social ritual they had twined their trunks as a form of greeting.
African elephants are divided into two subspecies savanna and forest, while the Asian elephant is divided into four subspecies Sri-Lankan, Indian Sumatran and Borneo. Asian elephants are smaller than all the other subspecies but have larger ears a longer tail straight tusks and are known to hold their heads higher than their African cousins. African elephants have two finger-like extensions at the tip of the trunk which are used for grabbing Asian elephants only have one, so instead of grabbing things Asian elephants prefer to wrap their trunks around food items and bring them to the mouth.
Elephant ears can reach 12 feet and width, and have numerous blood vessels running through them. these vessels allow them to release excess body heat into the environment. elephants communicate with each other over the long distances by producing distinct sounds, usually rumbles growls, bellows or moans, and by stopping their feet. such communication is possible because elephants can hear low-frequency sounds that travel for long distances. in order to pick up faraway messages, elephants pick up subsonic rumblings by putting their trunks to the ground and carefully positioning their feet. human ears cannot perceive sounds at such low frequencies.
Elephants have the largest brain among all terrestrial animals, so it’s no wonder that elephants are smart enough to interact with humans and learn special commands. scientific research also proved these animals exhibit mere self recognition, an indication of self-awareness, and a wide array of emotions elephants were observed showing grief, expressing concern and providing aid for those in need. these animals also belong to the list of species that create and use tools in their daily life.
An Asian elephant was once observed modifying branches and using them as flyswatters. African elephants are also capable of forming memories that span many years, such intelligence serves matriarch swell during dry seasons, When they need to guide their herds to watering holes that they remember from the past.
Elephants are herbivorous animals that can consume up to 330 pounds of vegetation and ten gallons of water daily. with such a healthy appetite an elephant will walk up to ten miles a day in its continuous search for grasses, leaves, bamboo, bark and roots. after all that movement, these animals have about four hours left in the day for rest they can sleep at night in the lying position or if may doze off in the standing position during the day. elephants have four molars, one on the top and one on the bottom on both sides of the mouth. the continuous chewing has a strong influence on an elephant’s teeth. luckily, these animals have cycles of tooth row tation and can grow up to six sets of chewing teeth in their lifetime.