Jan. 24, 2011
-- Elephants are the largest land mammals in the world today. They can reach a height of 13 feet and can weigh an astonishing 15,000 pounds, that's just about the same weight or more of an average school bus! The average lifespan of an elephant is 60 - 70 years old. African and Asian elephants are the only 2 surviving species. The two different species resemble each other from a distance but up close they are very different. You can easily see the difference in the size of the ears. African elephants have ears that can reach up and over their heads. The Asian elephant ears are much smaller and do not reach over the head. African elephants are also much larger in size and weigh more than the Asian elephant. Elephants do not have enemies because predators can easily be crushed by the mammals large size. Unfortunately, their little ones are usually the ones that get attacked by lions, hyenas, and tigers.
The elephant is usually known for its large trunk and huge ears. The trunk represents the nose and upper lip. The trunk alone contains 100,000 different muscles. It serves as a nose. hand, and more. It can pull a bark off a tree or even pick up small objects. like a coin for instance. The coin can be easily picked because the large mammal has two lobes on the tip of its trunk that act like fingers. The trunk can also be used as a snorkel inside the water or as a sign of affection amongst other elephants. The ears, on the other hand, are about five to six feet long and four feet wide. The ears are not meant for flying like Disney's Dumbo but can actually help radiate heat away from the body and keep the elephant cool.
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