African elephants are the largest of the elephant species, making them the largest land animal. They have four toes on the forefeet and five toes on the hind feet. African elephants live in large clans that splinter off into smaller families. The oldest and largest female is the matriarch who leads the others in the endless search for food and water. Elephants spend as much as sixteen hours a day searching for enough grasses, tree limbs, fruits, and vines. Elephants have a tough but flexible layer of grayish skin, long trunks, and twin ivory tusks. They use their remarkably flexible trunks to communicate with each other through touch and smell. Baby elephants nurse for up to five years. Females stay with their mothers until they're ready to have calves and start their own families. Bull calves stay with their mothers for up to twelve years, but then they break away to live with other males in 'bachelor' herds.
Fun Facts: Elephants can consume over five hundred pounds of food per day.
Zoological Name: Loxodonta africana
Conservation Status: Near Threatened
Primary Habitat: Grassland
Global Home: Africa