Many people do not know what are the two types of African elephants? The answer to this is the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant, who are the subspecies of African elephants. However, they both differ from one another in respect of their physical features and habitat. Although, many people do not know that about these African elephant species, so let us discuss both the African sub-species and compare them in a fight.
What Does An African Bush Elephant Look Like?
The African Bush Elephant also called the African savanna elephant, is the largest and heaviest land animal on the planet. They have grey skin that can be thick on some parts of its body. Despite being thick, these elephant’s skin is also susceptible to touch and sunburn.
The large ears of these elephants cover the whole shoulder and also helps them to reduce heat. And flapping the ears creates air currents and exposes the ear’s inner sides where large blood vessels increase the heat loss during summers. Their ears can grow as large as 6.6 feet * 4.9 feet.
The trunk has an extension of its upper lip and nose. It is studied to be shaped by 40,000 to 60,000 muscles. Because of this muscular and robust trunk, the elephants can lift to three percent of their body weight. The males and females of these species have tusks.
Where Does An African Bush Elephant Live?
African bush elephants can be found in sub-Saharan Africa; their population is distributed across 37 African countries. The preferred habitat of these creatures is forests, grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, and agricultural lands.
What Is The Size Of An African Bush Elephant?
The African bush elephant measures up to 13 feet tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 10.4 tonnes. However, the average males are about 10.5 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 6 tonnes whereas the females measure 8.53 feet tall and weigh 3 tonnes.
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What Does African Bush Elephant Eat?
These animals are herbivorous, and their diet primarily consists of grasses, creepers, and herbs. Adults of these species can consume up to 330 pounds per day. While in the dry season, their diet also includes leaves and bark. Elephants can spend 16 hours a day collecting plant food.
How Fast Is An African Bush Elephant?
Elephants are generally slow-moving creatures, and their usual speed is 4 miles per hour, but while running, they can reach a rate of 15 miles per hour.
African Bush Elephant’s Reproduction:
The mating season between these animals is in the rainy season. After a gestation of 22 months, a single calf is born who is about 33 inches tall and weighs about 260 pounds. The calf can stand shortly after birth and depends on the mother’s milk. In its first year, it can gain an average of 2 to 3 pounds.
Facts About African Bush Elephant:
- African Bush Elephants have the most massive brain among any land animal. Their mind can weigh from 10 to 12 pounds.
- These creatures are social and live in a matriarchal society that is led by a head female. The herd consists of mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts.
- On the other hand, the male lives separate from the matriarchal herd and travels alone.
- These elephants communicate over vast distances and use vocals, which is below the range of human hearing. They can hear the low frequency sounds from 5 miles away.
- African bush elephants love water; they dive, swim, and play in the water.
- Due to its size, the African bush elephant does not have many predators. But lions, wild dogs, Nile crocodiles, and hyenas are considered as their primary predators.
- The word elephant is derived from the Greek word ‘Elephas,’ which means ivory.
How Long Do African Bush Elephant Live?
The average lifespan of these elephants is between 70 to 75 years.
Are African Bush Elephants Endangered?
Under the IUCN, these elephant species have been classified as vulnerable. However, they are threatened by habitat fragmentation, and humans are poaching them for meat and ivory.
What Does the African Forest Elephant Look Like?
The African forest elephant is the smallest elephant species with a grey skin that looks yellow to reddish after wallowing. They have sensitive skin and are prone to sunburn. Their wrinkled skin helps to keep them fresh as water is trapped in the cracks, which gets evaporated.
The trunk has an extension of its upper lip and nose. It is studied to be shaped by 40,000 to 60,000 muscles. Because of these strong and muscular trunks, the elephants can lift to three percent of their body weight. They use this trunk for smelling, touching, drinking, feeding, defending, and attacking.
Both males and females have tusks that are straight and point downwards. Their tooth can grow about 5 feet long and can weigh between 50 and 100 pounds.
These elephant species have oval-shaped ears that help reduce heat, flapping them creates air currents and exposes the ear’s inner sides where large blood vessels increase heat loss during hot weather.
Where Does An African Forest Elephant Live?
These elephants are endemic to central and western Africa, where they can be seen in several African countries, including Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, and the Central African Republic. These creatures change their habitat seasonally, they prefer to habitat in swampy areas during the dry season, and in the wet season, they live in lowland rainforest areas.
What Is The Size Of An African Forest Elephant?
The male’s species measure from 7.9 to 9.8 feet tall at the shoulder while the female measures from 5.9 to 7.9 feet tall. However, they can weigh from 2.2 to 4.4 tonnes.
What Does An African Forest Elephant Eat?
Like African Bush elephants, these elephants are also herbivorous, and their diet is mainly composed of fruit, leaves, bark, twigs of rainforest trees.
African Forest Elephant’s Reproduction:
These species of elephants have a slow birth rate; they begin to breed at the age of 23 and give birth every 5 to 6 years. The baby elephant weighs around 232 pounds. Frequently after they can stand up and move around. Their tusk does not come till about 16 months, and the calves have cared for 4 to 5 years old.
Facts About African Forest Elephant:
- African Forest Elephants are social animals who live in a group of up to 20 individuals.
- The family group travels about 4.8 miles per day and moves in a home range of up to 770 square miles.
- These elephants have sensitive feet and can detect vibrations from up to 10 miles away.
- As African Forest Elephants forage on leaves, seeds, fruit, and tree bark and is one of the most useful seeds in the tropics, it has been referred to as the ‘mega-gardener of the forest.’
- These elephants have estimated to create up to one-third of the continent’s elephant population.
How Long Do African Forest Elephant Live?
The average lifespan of an African forest elephant is between 60 and 70 years.
Are African Forest Elephants Endangered?
Under the IUCN, these species had not described as endangered. However, they had threatened by habitat loss due to the urban and industrial settlement.
African Bush Elephant vs African Forest Elephant: Fight Comparison
A fight comparison between these types of elephants in Africa would be interesting to witness. However, it is also challenging to assume the winner as both are massive, strong, and powerful animals. They share many similar features and also known to display the same behavior. African Bush Elephants and African Forest Elephants can give a severe fight to each other.
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