All About the Armadillo

Armadillo stands for “little armored one” in Spanish. It earned its name because of the bony plates that cover the animal’s back, legs, tail, and head.

In fact, this is the only mammal that wears a shell such as this.

What You Should Know

Currently, 20 armadillo varieties exist. All of these except for one lives in Latin America. The nine-banded armadillo is the only one living in the United States.

The majority of armadillos live in warm and temperate habitats. This includes grasslands, rain forests, and semi-deserts. Cold is the enemy of the armadillo, mainly because they lack fat stores and have a lower metabolic rate.

Many armadillos dig burrows and sleep up to 16 hours a day. They forage in the morning and at dusk for beetles, termites, ants, and other insects. They don’t have good eyesight, so they rely on their smell for hunting. The armadillo also eats plants, fruit, vertebrates, and some carrion meal.

Armadillos spend much of their time in solitary. They like to forage alone and only interact to care for the young.

What Sound Do They Make?

The armadillo makes grunting noises while foraging for food. They also tend to squeal and squeak when they feel danger approaching. A screaming hairy armadillo is known for its unique loud squeal.

Group Characteristics

Each species breeds at a different time. Some reproduce year-round. Typical gestation lasts from two to five months for most armadillos. Babies are called pups and the average mother has one to 12 at a time. At birth, the baby has a soft, gray shell with a leather-like feel. It rolls up into a ball within hours.

The mother will nurse the pups for up to four months. The father does not stay to help the young, and the babies leave the mom after only nine months.

The armadillo lifespan ranges from four to 30 years. In the zoo, they live longer.

How Many are There?

Armadillos face a lot of threat from humans. People see them as pests and will call exterminators to remove them from the garden. They also get run over by cars as they look for food.

Another threat it faces is habitat destruction. All of them except for the nine-banded armadillo have a decrease in population. Five of them are classified as vulnerable.

Natural predators to the species include wolves, cougars, wildcats, and bears.

Pop Culture

Disney has used the armadillo in multiple projects. The earliest would be in the 1943 animated short, Pluto and the Armadillo. While the armadillo didn’t have a name, it was clear it was Pluto’s friend. Then, Annette, the armadillo showed up during the Bear in the Big Blue House fourth season.

Interesting Facts

The armadillo has an odd shape, but that doesn’t slow it down. Some armadillos reach up to 30 mph, which allows them to outrun a few of its jungle predators.

There is a species of armadillo known as the pink fairy armadillo. It’s known as the smallest species of all the varieties. It doesn’t live as long and many zoos have trouble keeping them, making it difficult to understand them. This small armadillo measures about five to six inches long and doesn’t weigh more than one pound.

At one point, the armadillo was used to make a musical instrument. The ten-stringed device is known as a charango and was typical in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.

All About the Arctic Wolf

The Arctic Wolf is also known as a White Wolf or Polar Wolf. It’s a mammal found in the Canidae family. This wolf survives in a climate and environment that isn’t ideal for most other wolf species.

What You Should Know

The Arctic Wolf lives in the northern areas of North America and Greenland. Both this and the Timber Wolf are the only Grey Wolf subspecies that are found in this range.

It’s believed that the Arctic Wolf likes to be alone, but that simply isn’t factual. When they are seen alone, it’s only because they are hunting for food. When they aren’t looking to eat, they stay with the pack. Sometimes this is only a couple of wolves, but it can reach up to twenty.

Wolves are territorial, but some have hundreds of miles included in their home range. Because of this, they will allow other packs to overlap the territory slightly.

There is a limited food supply in the arctic. When available, the wolf eats muskoxen and caribou. Because these species are larger, it requires multiple wolves to take it down. With the wolves’ sharp teeth, it’s simple for them to rip into the flesh and crunch the bones quickly after capture. In one sitting, they will eat 20 pounds of meat. At times, the Arctic Wolf has to go weeks without food, because of the environment.

What Sound Do They Make?

The arctic wolf makes the same sound as other animals from this family. You will hear them bark, whimper, growl, and howl. Some of them often sound like a combination of two at the same time, such as a growl-bark or bark-howl.

Listen to the Arctic Wolf howl with this video.

Group Characteristics

In small packs, only the alpha male and female wolves breed. In larger packs, others might also mate. Due to the permafrost soil, the Arctic Wolf typically uses caves, shallow depressions, and rock outcroppings as a den. The mother births two to three pups later in May or early in June. Then, the pups remain with the mom for two years.

When the wolf pup is born, it has dark fur and blue eyes. These change to yellow-gold when the pup reaches between eight and 16 weeks.

Most Arctic Wolves live to be about seven to ten years old in the wild and 18 years old in captivity.

How Many are There?

We don’t have an exact number on how many Arctic Wolves exist, but we know they are labeled as Least Concern. Because of the isolation, the arctic wolf doesn’t face many threats. It rarely comes in contact with humans, so there’s less chance of hunting.

Its biggest threat is climate change. The more weather variation that exists, the harder it is to find food. Another danger is industrial development. More mines, pipelines, and roads continue to be built which disrupts the food supply of the Arctic Wolf.

Watch a Video

In this first video, National Geographic Wild captured a new family outing of Arctic Wolves.

You can also learn 13 fun facts about the arctic wolf.

Pop Culture

Probably the most well-known movie that included Arctic Wolves is the 1983 Walt Disney Never Cry Wolf. It was centered around a researcher sent to the Arctic to study the wolves who were reducing the caribou population. It’s also possible to see Arctic Wolves at zoos across the country.

Interesting Facts

Arctic wolves have a smaller body than the grey wolf. It’s also easy to spot their shorter muzzles and smaller ears. It’s believed that these parts evolved to be smaller so that the animal could retain more body heat.

All About the Arctic Hare

Few animals can survive the harsh climate and environment of the North American tundra quite as the arctic hare does. This hare, which is slightly larger than a rabbit, has a lot of ways to keep itself safe and warm. It continues to thrive in this frozen land where other species can’t.

What You Should Know

The arctic hare has taller hind legs plus longer ears than a typical rabbit. It’s also a fast creature and will reach speeds higher than 40 mph. During the winter months, it has a bright, white coat that helps it to camouflage in the snow and ice. During spring, that hair changes color to blue-gray, which allows it to blend in with rocks and vegetation.

The arctic hare is found in Northern Canada through Newfoundland and on the coasts of Greenland. A similar species, the Mountain Hare, is found in Arctic Asia and Europe. These animals are mostly identical and might be the same.

An arctic hare eats woody plants, including roots and willow twigs. It also eats berries, mosses, and sedges.

What Sound Do They Make?

Arctic hares don’t typically use their voice to communicate. Instead, they rely on scent and smell plus body language. The position of their ears tells a lot about what they are trying to say. Still, researches have been able to find three varying sounds that the hare makes. Before nursing, the female growls. Another sound it makes is a scream when trouble is imminent. Finally, it’s been heard making a lower growl when it’s caught.

In this video, you can see just how quiet the hare remains.

Group Characteristics

Arctic hares do not hibernate. Instead, they survive the cold weather with some physical and behavioral adaptations. Their thick fur and low surface area help them conserve body heat. Sometimes, they also dig shelters and huddle with other hares to stay warm.

Most of the time the arctic hare prefers to be alone but has been spotted in large groups when trying to stay warm. During mating season, the male may have more than one partner and typically defines its mating territory.

Females will birth babies once a year, either in the spring or beginning of summer. During that time, two to eight young hares are born. They will be ready to breed by the following year.

How Many are There?

Nobody has ever conducted a formal count of the arctic hare population. There’s thought to be enough that they are listed as least concern on the IUCN list. Current predators include the arctic wolf, grey wolf, arctic fox, red fox, snowy owl, ermine, Canadian lynx and gyrfalcon. They also need to protect their young from these predators.

The arctic hare was once crucial to Native Americans that hunted it for fur and food. While it still occurs, it’s estimated that only about 5% of the population is affected.

Watch a Video

In this first video, you can learn some interesting facts about the arctic hare.

Here are some hares having a good time in the wild.

Pop Culture

The arctic hare doesn’t show up in any popular movies or TV shows as it isn’t a popular animal to feature. There are many missed occasions to include this species. For example, it would have fit in well in Zootopia when Judy Hopps passed through Tundratown.

Interesting Facts

Among the numerous character traits that make the arctic hare different, it also contains its own set of sunglasses. This hare features black eyelashes that keep their eyes protected from the sun’s glare coming off of the ice and snow.

All About the Arctic Fox

The arctic fox is also known as the polar fox or white fox. It’s a northern fox from the Canidae family. While small in size, this animal shows that it is resilient and adaptable to change.

What You Should Know

The arctic fox is found throughout the Arctic region. It makes its home in the mountains near the sea or the tundra. This fox is a burrow dweller that’s active throughout the day.

It feeds on any animal or plant that’s available. It also follows the polar bear to feed on whatever is remaining from its kill. In summer, the arctic fox eats lemmings and rodents, but will also catch birds when possible. During the winter, it hunts puffins, grouse, and ptarmigan.

What Sound Do They Make?

The arctic fox communicates with others through a variety of sounds. Sometimes they can be heard giving off a loud yowl over a long distance while other noises include a high-pitched sound to signal danger.

In this video, you can hear mating calls from an arctic fox duo.

Group Characteristics

In the winter, almost all of the arctic foxes will commute short distances for three days or less. They do this several times a month in search of food. In Canada, the fox migrates from the archipelago to Greenland or northwestern Canada.

The foxes found closer to goose colonies don’t tend to migrate at all. The majority of them prefer to maintain their territory, even if they do some traveling. As the fox gets older, it’s more likely they will leave home.

The female arctic fox breeds once a year. During this time, she will produce up to 20 pups after a 52-day gestation period. She nurses the pups for around 45 days and they leave the family a few months later. In the wild, they only live to be about three years old but survive up to ten years in a zoo.

How Many are There?

It’s estimated that there are several hundred thousand and are labeled as least concern for extinction risk. Natural predators include polar bears, wolverines, and wolves. The arctic fox also falls victim to fur trading, which increases hunting risk.

Furthermore, climate change plays a part in current fox populations. Since the Arctic temperatures rise at twice the rate of the rest of the world, the fox is at risk. The more the sea ice melts and the sea levels rise, the smaller the arctic fox population becomes.

Watch a Video

In the first video, BBC Earth showcases an arctic fox hunting for food.

In the second one, we see how the fox takes advantage of the leftovers from a polar bear.

Pop Culture

There’s a movie being made called Arctic Dogs. It’s an animated film featuring an arctic fox that works in the mail room. It’s the typical kid’s movie where good must fight evil. Furthermore, the arctic fox is found in most zoos around the country. In Detroit, three sister foxes live in the Arctic Ring of Life, which was rated as the second-best exhibit of any zoo in America by The Intrepid Traveler’s Guide to America’s Best Zoos.

Interesting Facts

The color scheme of an arctic fox is unique. The white phase foxes feature a grayish-brown color in the summer and then turn all white in the winter. Other foxes have a blue phase which showcases itself as a gray color in the summer and gray-blue during the winter.

All About Antelope

The classification of antelope is used to describe many mammals within the Family Bovidae. For that reason, many animals that are thought to be antelope turn out to be something else entirely.

What You Should Know

Every antelope contains horns made from keratin. These horns remain permanently attached to the head and don’t shed like a deer’s. There are varying horn designs from ridged to twisting.

Many antelope are native to Africa, but you can also find some in Asia and the Middle East. They prefer to live in open grasslands, wooded areas or the rain forest. The antelope is a herbivore, but some species have been seen eating small mammals, birds, and insects. Otherwise, they are content to feast on small trees and bushes.

What Sound Do They Make?

Depending on the species, you may hear varying sounds. Some make a bleat, bellow, moo, or grunt. With a gerenuk antelope, you hear a combination between a moan and a grunt. Many of the species will also make a sound resembling a dog’s bark if they feel threatened.

Enjoy the calming sounds of the antelope with this interesting video clip.

Group Characteristics

The antelope does prefer to live in a small herd and will migrate to find food. Once the antelope has mated, the female gives birth to one or two calves. The newborns are vulnerable to predators, which is why the female births the calves in dense cover. If she leaves to feed, she covers the newborns with the vegetation. While in this hiding place, the calves don’t move at all unless they’re about to be discovered.

How Many are There?

There are large populations of antelope, but some species have made it to the IUCN endangered list. Loss of habitat, poaching, game hunting plus the loss of grazing land due to cattle farming has hurt the population.

The Saiga antelope and Tibetan antelope are both hunted for medicinal purposes, making them two of the most threatened species. Aside from hunting, the antelope are pursued by many predators. Hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, civets, lions, wild dogs and snakes will eat an antelope. Larger birds eat the young calves, but antelope have some tricks that keep them safe.

Depending on the situation, antelopes will freeze in place, sound an alarm, run with intense speed, jump in a strange pattern or hide to avoid danger. Some species also give off an odor to deter some predators. When all else fails, they will resort to using their horns in battle.

Watch a Video

Here’s a short documentary available about the antelope in Africa.

In this video, you can see how lions hunt antelope.

Pop Culture

Antelope can be seen in The Lion King and The Lion King 2. In the first movie, Simba talks with his father about how lions eat antelope then die and become part of the grass. After that, antelope eat the grass, thereby completing the “Circle of Life.” In the animated movie, Khumba, we also see Gemsboks which are a species of antelope.

Interesting Facts

Antelope run fast. They aren’t the fastest animal in the world, but they make quick and precise turns to throw off their enemies. That’s how they gain an advantage over predators such as the cheetah who can sprint faster than the antelope.

The desert antelope doesn’t need to drink water. Instead, they get everything needed from their food.

The klipspringer antelope jumps 15 times its height, making it the highest jumper in relation to body size. An impala is also pretty impressive with the ability to soar up to ten feet.

Learn All About the Jaguar

The Jaguar is the largest cat found in the Americas. This top-level carnivore is often confused with a leopard, despite their significant differences.

What You Should Know

The jaguar is a carnivore that eats crocodiles, deer, snakes, peccary, monkeys, sloths, deer, tapirs, eggs, turtles, fish and frogs. They basically dine on anything they can catch.

The jaguar likes to live and hunt by itself, except when it is mating. For the most part, a jaguar is found on solid ground, but sometimes it also climbs high in a tree to pounce on prey below. Unlike most of the other big cats, the jaguar enjoys being in the water.

Jaguars don’t exist much in the United States anymore and are now endangered throughout Patagonia in South America. Its natural habitat is the rainforest, deciduous forest, swamps and mountain scrub areas. When it sleeps, it hides. It will find an area surrounded by trees or relax in a tree, if possible. If there are no trees, you will find the jaguar resting among the tall grass.

The jaguar measures 25-30 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 200 pounds. It will live for up to 12 years, according to Defenders of Wildlife. It features a compact body, broad head and mighty jaws.

What Sound Do They Make?

Listen to the glorious sounds that a jaguar makes.

Group Characteristics

The Jaguar doesn’t migrate but remains in the Amazon basin. All other habitats throughout the Americas have been mainly wiped out. They no longer exist among dry regions and will travel to find freshwater, according to Big Cat Facts.

While they don’t have a breeding season, they do maintain a 100-day gestation period. Most females have two to four cubs at once. Until those babies are one year old, the female jaguar continues to feed them. Then, they remain with their mother until they are about two years old. Jaguars reach maturity around two to three years old for a female and three to four years old for a male.

How Many are There?

According to National Geographic, the Jaguar is part of the IUCN Near Threatened Status. They’ve been killed because of conflicts with livestock and hunted as trophies. Habitat loss continues to be a concern and the construction of a U.S.-Mexico wall might threaten their return to the United States.

Watch a Video

The History Channel did an amazing documentary on the Jaguar and its behavior.

Watch this Jaguar take down a caiman.

Pop Culture

There have been some famous jaguars in animation. One is Manchas the jaguar in Zootopia. He was a black jaguar that drove a limo. He became one of the missing mammals that turned savage in the movie.

Another cartoon jaguar is Gia from Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. This love interest of Alex was voiced by Jessica Chastain.

In America, one of the largest displays of Jaguars occurs at the San Diego Zoo. They’ve housed and bred jaguars since 1925.

Interesting Facts

Black jaguars have a dominant melanistic gene. While they aren’t uncommon, they are more challenging to see, especially when they spend time in a dark rainforest.

The most distinctive feature that sets a jaguar apart from a leopard, according to Discover Wildlife, is the spot shape. They have spots that look like roses and are often called rosettes. The jaguar’s rosettes have spots inside them where a leopard does not.

In addition, jaguars are often talked about as a nocturnal animal. However, they appear to be more active around dawn and dusk. This is also referred to as crepuscular behavior.

All About the African Forest Elephant

Is there anything more majestic than a family of African Forest Elephants? This amazing animal is found throughout central and southern Africa and is renowned for being the largest known mammal on land. Unfortunately, deforestation and poaching are putting these beautiful creatures at risk more and more with every passing year.

What You Should Know

This species of elephant is mostly found in central and southern Africa in forests, savannahs, and flood plains. You will immediately recognize them due to their gigantic size, leathery skin, and incredible pearly white tusks. African Forest Elephants are herbivores that love munching on plants and other vegetation found in its natural environment. They will normally go for leaves, fruits, herbs, and low-lying shrubs whenever they get hungry. They use their huge tusks to find roots in the ground and strip bark off of trees for some easily accessible snacks.

The male African Forest Elephant is a solitary creature, but females will form herds with their young families. This allows the mothers to protect their children from predators so that they can reach an age where they are able to hold their own. These elephants love wandering through forests and grasslands while they look for the food and watering holes they need to survive.

What Sound do they make?

Group Characteristics

These animals usually travel in nomadic groups while they seek out the necessary resources to survive. There is a 2 year gestation period for the female before she is ready to give birth to a single calf. The calf will join the herd and be nursed by its mother until its ready to take care of itself. This usually coincides with the time that the calf’s tusks start to show.

How Many Are There?

The estimated population size of the African Forest Elephant is right around 200,000, but the reality is that there might be far fewer elephants alive today than the estimate proclaims. These gentle giants are being threatened by the rapid deforestation of their territory as well as by poachers that are after their beautiful tusks. They are an animal that is listed on the endangered species list, which suggests they are at risk of becoming extinct in the future. They don’t have to worry about many natural predators due to their size, but hyenas and lions have been known to attack weak elephant calves when the opportunity presents itself.

Watch a Video

You can find some great videos of the African Forest Elephant by clicking on any of the following links:

Interesting Facts

As we mentioned earlier, the African Forest Elephant is known as the largest mammal on land. Their tusks actually grow out straighter than other elephant’s curved tusks, which allows them to make their way through the jungle with ease. They are able to communicate with each other through miles and miles of dense jungle, but humans aren’t able to hear the low pitched sound. The African Forest Elephant helps to spread different plant seeds all across the forests of Africa, which is yet another reason why we should focus on conservation efforts since they are such an important part of the ecosystem.

They also have a lifespan of 60-70 years, which is quite a long time to live in the animal kingdom. Perhaps the most interesting fact about these animals is related to their teeth, as they replace them 4 times during the lifespan. Unfortunately, when the African Forest Elements stops replacing its teeth, it will have trouble eating food and will most likely fall victim to starvation.

All About the African Palm Civet

Introduction

Even though its thought to be one of the most common forest dwelling carnivores in all of Africa, the African Palm Civet is still a very distinctive animal. You will recognize them by their brown and light-tan fur along with brown spots, which serve as great camouflage as they make their way through the trees. This creature is a testament to the amazing diversity that exists in the forests of Africa.

What You Should Know

The African Palm Civet is commonly found in the tropical rainforests of East Africa. It is an omnivorous animal that primarily feasts on rodents, snakes, frogs, and pineapples. It’s not a large creature, coming in and right around 17 to 28 inches tall and weighing in at anywhere from 3 to 10 lbs. They are solitary animals that pretty much only will be seen during the dawn or the dusk when they get hungry and start hunting around for a fresh meal. You will find them relaxing in the trees during most of the day until they get hungry enough to hunt. They are often thought of as pests by the local farmers because of their tendency to break into the chicken coops for a quick and easy dinner.

Even though they are typically considered to be solitary animals, the African Palm Civet has been known to congregate in groups of up to 15 members when food is plentiful. They will normally live to be 15 to 20 years old and are very closely related to other small carnivores like mongooses and weasels. You will know you are looking at an African Palm Civet if you see a small feline-like creature with a sharply pointed snout, rounded ears, and yellow-green eyes.

What Sound do they make?

You can hear the African Civet in action by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mF9nCYsNMk

Group Characteristics

The African Palm Civet mates at two specific times of the year, during the rainy seasons in East Africa when food is much more bountiful. The female gives birth to up to 4 cute baby Civets after a gestation period over a few months. The mother will protect her young until they are old enough to handle life on their own, which usually happens at about 60 days old. African Palm Civets are hearty animals that can live up to 15 years in the wild.

How Many Are There?

The African Palm Civet is a fairly common animal that is not at risk of becoming extinct anytime soon. You will find them in abundance all over East Africa in a variety of different habitats. It is worth noting that deforestation is taking away this animal’s natural habitat. Some of the African Palm Civet’s predators include larger animals like lions, snakes, and leopards. Even crocodiles have been known to attack and eat the African Palm Civet. This is why the Civet loves hanging out in the safety of trees for the majority of the day.

Watch a video

You can find some great videos of the African Clawed Frog by clicking on any of the following links:

Interesting Facts

The scent of the African Palm Civet’s powerful musk was actually used to create some of the most popular perfumes in the world. Humans have been collecting the musk for hundreds of years. Even though they are solitary creatures, they will gather in groups every so often when there is lots of food for them to enjoy. One of the most distinctive features of the African Palm Civet are its brown or yellow fur that is covered with dark spots. Its fur is usually darker colored on the top half of its body which helps it stay camouflaged in the wild.

All About African Penguins

When you think of penguins, you probably think of little flightless birds sliding on their bellies in arctic and icy environments. However, the African Penguin just might completely change what you think you know about penguins. They are the only species of penguin located in Africa and have distinctive pink glands beneath their eyes that make them very unique among their species.

What You Should Know

The African Penguin is typically found on the coast of South Africa on rocky ocean islands. It has black and white markings and a sharp black beak that allows it to devour the marine organisms that it loves to eat. The African Penguin is a carnivore and loves to eat shoaling fish like anchovies, sardines, mackerel, squid, and crustaceans. Its body shape allows it to glide through the water in search for food. They catch their food by diving under the water for up to 2 minutes at a time and have even been known to hunt up to 100 meters below the ocean surface. They will usually grow to be between 24 inches to 27 inches in height and weigh about 5 to 10 lbs.

These flightless birds love being social and forming bonds with other African Penguins. Sometimes, the bonds that they form with other penguins can last as long as 10 years. You will often see African Penguins helping each other out with grooming and their courtship displays are a true sight to behold. You will hear them trying to attract a mate with some truly odd donkey-like sounds.

What Sound do they make?

Group Characteristics

The African Penguin, like other types of penguins, are animals that love to socialize with one another. You will often see them congregating in groups when you find them in their natural habitat. They will normally start breeding around the age of 4. When a male and female African Penguin decide to pair up, it is a bond that lasts a lifetime. The females will dig and burrow to create a place to lay her eggs. Both parents take responsibility for keeping up with the egg until it hatches about 40 days later. The young penguins will stay with their parents until they are 3 to 5 months old, but interestingly return to their birthplace to moult into their adult plumage. On average, the African Penguin lives between 10 and 15 years.

How Many Are There?

The African Penguin population is estimate to be right around 140,000. They are considered to be a vulnerable animal that is endangered. Some of the main reasons they are at risk of extinction are due to humans eating their eggs and habitat disruption. The predators that African Penguins are always watching out for include sharks, seals, and seagulls. The biggest predatory risk that African Penguins face is before they even hatch. The penguin eggs are very delicate and there are tons of animals looking to eat them. That’s why the mother and father penguin take turns watching over their eggs.

Watch a Video

You can find some great videos of the African Penguin by clicking on any of the following links:

Interesting Facts

African Penguins will moult once a year and always return to their colonies to do so. When they are moulting, they aren’t able to swim or eat during the 20-day period. This causes them to lose about half of their body weight. Penguins actually have more feathers than any other type of bird. These interesting animals are also known as the Jackass bird thanks to their unique donkey-like call. The African Penguin is the only type of penguin that is found in non-freezing conditions, which they cope with by burrowing and being active at the dawn and dusk of each day.

Learn All About African Bush Elephant

The African Bush Elephant is the largest land mammal in the entire world. It reaches 13 feet tall and 24 feet long. This massive giant is unique and fascinating to learn about.

What You Should Know

The African Savanna Elephant is another common name for the African Bush Elephant. It lives in most countries in Africa, among various habitats. You will find it in the high rainforest, desert and open savanna. It’s the largest species of the three elephant types and can weigh up to 11 tons. It also lives up to 70 years, which is more than any other mammal besides humans.

The African Bush Elephant is a herbivore and eats up to 350 pounds of vegetation every day. The herd of African Bush Elephant typically contains about a thousand elephants. This social activity helps the elephant remains safe from danger.

What Sound Do They Make?

The African Bush Elephant makes mighty roars and rumbles, but that isn’t all they do to communicate. They also are heard making grunts, barks, snorts, cries and trumpet-like sounds to talk to others in their herd.

Here is an excellent illustration of their trumpet call.

Group Characteristics

The African Bush Elephant herd contains females and their young. It’s managed by the older female, otherwise known as a matriarch. An adult male elephant doesn’t typically join the herd. He prefers to live a solitary life. The only time you find a male near the crowd is during mating season.

Females spend 22 months carrying their calf and give birth to one elephant. This is the longest gestation period of any mammal. The mother will also nurse her calf for two years, but it remains under her care for at least six years. The female elephant reaches maturity after ten years, but are most fertile between the ages of 25 and 45.

The African Bush Elephant spends a lot of time on the move. They have been noted as displaying loving and caring behaviors, just like humans do. When a relative dies, they even spend time grieving the loss.

How Many are There?

During the early 20th century, African Bush Elephants were counted in the millions, possibly three to five. Now, there are only about 415,000 remaining. Despite this, only about 20% of the habitat is under any type of formal protection.

There aren’t many natural predators that threaten its survival, because of the elephant’s size. These elephants co-habitat with all of the other mammals and birds without a problem. Occasionally, a hyena or lion will hunt a baby elephant that’s been separated from its mother. The biggest threat is humans who continue to poach the African Bush Elephant for its ivory tusks. The other danger is habitat loss.

Watch a Video

In this first video, you can learn the differences between an African Bush Elephant & African Forest Elephant.

Here are some African Bush Elephant facts you might not have known.

Pop Culture

While elephants are a common occurrence in today’s culture, some of the most well-known include Babar the animated elephant, Dumbo the title character in a Disney movie and Horton from the famous Dr. Seuss book and movie.

Elephants are now commonplace in most zoos worldwide, but they aren’t always the African variety. Some of the zoos feature Asian elephants instead.

Interesting Facts

The African Bush Elephant uses its long trunk to cool off in the heat. It fills up the trunk with water and then sprays it over its body. It will also spray down its young to keep it cool. The elephant tries to visit watering holes often, but will also settle for muddy spots, when needed.