African Elephant - the largest terrestrial animal

Baku, April 27, AZERTAC

The African elephant (Loxodonta Africana) is the world's largest and heaviest land animal, with the biggest individual on record weighing in at over 10 tons/22,000 pounds.

They are found in 37 sub-Saharan countries and can survive in a wide range of different habitats, from lush wetlands to arid deserts.

African elephants are supremely well adapted to their environment, from their inch-thick skin (which protects them from the sharp thorns of the bush) to their enormous ears (which help to disperse heat and regulate body temperature).

They can consume up to 50 gallons of water and 375 pounds of vegetation every day.

Elephants are very social animals. They live in matriarch-led groups that often number more than 100 individuals and communicate using a variety of low-frequency rumbles that can travel for many miles. Female calves usually stay with the herd throughout their life, while young males leave to form bachelor groups and eventually create herds of their own.

In the 1970s and '80s, the global demand for ivory led to a dramatic decrease in elephant numbers. A ban on all ivory trade has helped stabilize the population to around 600,000 in the last decade. However, poaching is still a major issue, especially in parts of Africa where there is political instability.

The African elephant is listed as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

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