Animals

Elephants

Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth and among the world's most intelligent animals.

They are placental mammals.

Elephants belong to the family Elephantidae, which includes elephants and mammoths.

Mammoths are now extinct.

There are three known living species of elephant.

The Asian elephant is the only surviving species of the genus Elephas.

African bush elephant or African savanna elephant

The African bush elephant (also known as the African savanna elephant) and the African forest elephant belong to the genus Loxodonta.

An elephant's trunk is made up of its nose and upper lip, which have been fused together and elongated.

Asian elephants have a projection that resembles a finger at the end of their trunks.

African elephants have two such projections.

The trunk of an elephant is very strong and very sensitive

It contains tens of thousands of individual muscles and is capable of very fine motor movements.

Elephants have tusks - extremely long teeth that extend beyond the mouth.

An elephant's tusks are modified upper incisors.

Elephants have large ears, which they  flap their ears to cool themselves on hot days.

An elephant's diet is herbivorous (consists of plant matter).

It may eat grass, bark, twigs, leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds or roots.

Elephants have complex social structures.

Female elephants live in herds which consisting of related females - mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters - and their young.

Females engage in alloparenting - caring for children that were born to other parents.

They will protect, comfort and even suckle the calves of other mothers.

Males leave these matriarchal groups when they are adolescents. They generally lead solitary lives as adults, although they will sometimes form loose associations with other males.

Elephants are very intelligent.

They have the ability to use tools, to solve complex problems and to adapt to unexpected situations.

Elephants can recognize themselves in mirrors. This indicates that they are self-aware.

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