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The African Bush elephant, Loxodonta africana, is the largest living terrestrial animal in the world, reaching up to 24 feet in length and 13 feet in height. Also known as the African Savannah elephant, these peaceful giants are truly impressive with their massive size.
See the fact file below for more information on the African Bush elephant or alternatively, you can download our 20-page African Bush Elephant worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- In 1797, German physician and anthropologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach suggested Elephas africanus as the elephant’s scientific name.
- Loxodonte, which points out its lozenge-shaped molar teeth enamel, was the generic name for African elephants, introduced by French naturalist and zoologist Georges Cuvier in 1824.
- The ancestors of the African Bush elephant became extinct during the Pleistocene Epoch. Currently, there are only three species of elephant left: Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), African Forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), and African Bush elephant (Loxodonta africana).
- Gaining the title for being the largest and heaviest known terrestrial mammal, Savannah elephants reach 3.96 meters (13 feet) tall and weigh 10.4 tons. The males are generally taller and heavier than the females.
- Their ears resemble the shape of the African continent, and are bigger and reach up over the neck, unlike those of the Asian elephants. These huge flaps are not just for hearing, but are also used to keep them cool in the African heat.
- Savannah elephants have single dome heads, which are fuller and more rounded. They are also distinguishable for their curved tusks, and the number of nails they have on each foot: four on their front feet and three on their hind feet.
- Their trunks are an elongation of their upper lip and nose, resulting in a two-finger-like tip. Their tusks grow from deciduous teeth called tushes, that form in the upper jaw of the elephant. They also have six molars in each jaw quadrant, protruding at different ages and varying in size.
- African Bush elephants are incredibly sociable mammals. They usually gather in family herds comprising of 10 females with their calves. They do not want to stay in one area, and are continuously looking for food.
- Their trunks are flexible enough to help them gather and handle food, and collect water. Along with their tusks, they also use their trunks to protect themselves from their natural predators, and to fight with other male Savannah elephants when trying to find potential mates.
- African Bush elephants are also highly intelligent. They are considered as emotional mammals, showing traits such as giving and receiving love, attending to the needs of their young, and grieving for the loss of their relatives.
- Their tough skin is highly sensitive to ultraviolet rays, so they use mud as sunscreen. These elephants love mud baths, which protect them from burning and insect bites, and give them enough moisture.
- These elephants are arrhythmic species – they have clear vision in dim light. They also have the ability to detect vibrations in the ground because of their sensitive feet.
HABITAT AND DIET
- African Bush elephants are mostly found in plains and grasslands of central and southern Africa. They are nomadic animals that live in grassy savannas and shrublands of Africa.
- They are herbivorous mammals that feed on plants and plant matter. Their diet consists of leaves and fallen branches of trees, fruits and grasses, and even roots underground.
- These peaceful giants have no natural predators due to their huge size.
- Lions and hyenas may sometimes pick off young African Bush elephants that are away from their mother, and even old and sick adults that are too vulnerable to attack.
- Adult African Bush elephants can drink about 50 gallons of water a day, holding 1.5 gallons of water in their trunk at a time.
- African Bush elephants are expected to live between 60 and 70 years.
- Females are able to reproduce after 10 or 11 years. They are believed to be most fertile between the age of 25 and 45. Males, however, reach sexual maturity at 20 years old.
- Female Savannah elephants give birth to a single calf after a gestation period of two years. Calves stay with their herd for two years for protection and guidance until they are six years old, old enough to support themselves.
- Habitat loss and humans poaching their ivory tusks are the biggest threats to their survival.
- The IUCN lists African Bush elephants as vulnerable. There are only 15,000 species left; however, their numbers are increasing.
- African Bush elephants play a vital part in maintaining the savannah and open woodland ecosystems, and in helping plants and animals survive.
African Bush Elephant Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the African Bush Elephant across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use African Bush Elephant worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the African Bush elephant, Loxodonta africana, which is the largest living terrestrial animal in the world, reaching up to 24 feet in length and 13 feet in height. Also known as the African Savannah elephant, these peaceful giants are truly impressive with their massive size.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- African Bush Elephant Facts
- Peaceful Giants
- African Elephant Anatomy
- Savannah Elephant Facts
- More About These Elephants
- An Elephant’s Life
- Bush and Forest
- Elephant Recap
- Large Mammals
- Asian and African
- Elephant Mask
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Link will appear as African Bush Elephant Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 3, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.