Elephant, Africa, African Bush Elephant

Being mammals , humans tend to have more passion and concern for other mammals, particularly those that are endangered. Primarily, what mostly differs mammals from other animals is the occurrence of vertebrates in their anatomy, and how the females produce milk to feed the young, among other things. IUCN says that there are about 1100 endangered or threatened mammal species, making roughly 20% of all mammals. That said, lets look at a few of the most endangered species of these on our planet.

There are two types of elephants, the principal difference being the size, the African, which is bigger, and the Asian. The African, obviously, comes from Africa, and lives in all kinds of habitats, from dense forests, savannahs, through marshes, semidesserts, to grasslands and desserts. It feeds on a number of plants, such as marijuana, or leafs and twigs from trees, fruits when available. They show remarkable intelligence when feeding sometimes, knocking down trees to reach the to higher edible parts, or digging in search of roots or underground water. Due to this healthy digestion, they live up to 60 years old in the wild, and even 80 in captivity. Their age can be determined by the amount of time their grinding teeth continue. Without them, the elephant can’t chew his food, and will die.

The reduction in the African elephants population is due to three different factors:
1) the killing of elephants for their tusks(ivory), which is an extremely valuable resource. This is the most influential variable on the reduction of their population.
2)desertification, a significant cause of the disappearance of not only elephants, but many different species also.
3) The latest factor, which has not been always about, the battle between humans and elephants for land. This is a result of the gigantic growth of human population. Of course, there are quite a few different reasons, like the availability of weapons, the apathy towards elephants because they sometimes destroy plants, territorial wildlife authorities and many more, but those three are the significant ones.

The Asian elephants are smaller then their relatives in Africa. They live in higher areas and altitudes, like hills and mountains, even to 3600 m high, in habitats such as thick jungles or plains with grass. It can be found in places like the Himalayas, mountains of China, Sri Lanka, Indo-Burma, India and Indo-china. This is probably because they are still to weak or young to contribute to the reproduction and attracting older females, which achieve their sexual maturity at age 9-12 years. The females always live in family groups that consist of mom, daughters, sisters and immature males, which usually has about 30-50 members, even though there can be found groups with 100. They feed on grasses, branches, bark, flowers, fruits, and they dig for roots such as bamboo.

Because of the technological advances in the 19th century, which were not likely here, but came from abroad, the inhabitants of the Asian elephants severely dropped. Their feeding grounds were destroyed or taken by people, which is the largest issue for the population. They were killed because they ruined crops, and for their tusks. The females do not have some tusks, so they were not killed for this reason, but extreme male hunting sometimes result in a disturbed and problematic female:male elephant ratio.

Majestic Elephants

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