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What You Didn’t Know About Elephants

Elephant – Water (84)

So you thought you knew everything there was to know about the majestic giants of Africa? Well think again! Elephants are a highly evolved species and are capable of far more than a lot of people give them credit for. The evolutionary path of elephants is fascinating and believe it or not the closest common ancestor they have with humans is an almost ancient form of tree shrew. However, the elephants most common ancestor isn’t even on land. Its is generally accepted that the elephants closest living relative are the manatee, hyraxes (also known as the Dassie) and the dugong. What is probably most surprising is the degree to which these groups are totally and utterly different. A quick look at each of these species will leave you scratching your head at exactly how they could be so closely related. But this is the wonder of nature.

Community plays a huge role in the life of an elephant and they are one of the most closely knit societies in the animal kingdom. Elephants can hear one another’s calls from as far away as 5miles or 8kms. Elephants will also have ‘funerals’ when a member of the heard passes away, much like humans and will even visit the site from from time to time to pay their respects. Even when a member of the herd gets sick, the other elephants will care for them and nurse them back to health. A famous ‘elephant whisperer’ by the name of Lawrence Anthony, known for his conservation efforts died in 2012 and his home on South Africa’s Thula Thula Game Reserve was visited by 2 separate herds of elephants only days after his death. Nobody can explain how the elephants knew he had died but they spent 2 days around the man’s home and then left and made their 12 hour journey back into the bush.

Elephants, despite their incredibly thick hides, are also susceptible to sunburn which is why they spray themselves with mud. Even more surprising with regards to their hides is that it is so sensitive that they can feel a fy landing on them. Elephants only sleep for 4 hours a day, they need an incredible amount of food. Elephants will eat up to 600 pounds or 300 kg of food per day and of course drink lots and lots water which they can detect from as far away as 12 miles and rain from as far as 150 miles away. To keep up with the sheer quantity of food and their substantial lifespans, elephants grow 6 sets of teeth in their lifetimes until old age catches up with them. They also have a gestation period of 2 years. A very surprising fact that has only recently been discovered by scientists is that elephants are very scared of bees. They will even go as far as to sound an alarm call if there are bees in the area. Elephants are so intelligent that they can tell the difference between men and women and even different ethnicities. Further to that point, elephants can even recognise themselves in the mirror.

So there you have it, hopefully this article has shed some light on some interesting things about elephants that you didn’t know previously. Think about these things the next time you see one and learn to appreciate just how special these gentle giants really are.

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Big FiveNews

The Big Five in Africa

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For many visitors of Africa seeing the Big-Five is a dream come true.  The only way they believe their trip is complete, when they finally see the  Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard and Lion.

The name big five originated from hunters. These Five mammals were considered the five most dangerous creatures to hunt – mainly because they fought back!

Africa’s huge, their names as crafty creatures, with powerful instincts for survival grew and they were characterized as deadly rivals.

They have few natural enemies and are quite dangerous and hard to monitor if injured or cornered.

Below we have a few Astonishing Facts about Africa’s Big Five Animals

Great African Lion Facts

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  • The roar of a lion can be heard 5 miles away!
  • FBoth male and female lions will greet each other by rubbing themselves against each other!

Fascinating Leopard Facts

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  • Leopards are the biggest cat species they will often scale trees. these animals can pull quarry that weighs up to 3 times their own body weight.
  • Leopards arr extremely comfortable in water, they are in fact great swimmers that will occasionally eat fish or crabs!

Fascinating Elephant Facts

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  • Elephants can easily get sunburned and therefore will throw  dust, sand or mud on their backs and heads to keep insects off their skin and to prevent them from getting sunburn.
  • elephants calves are born blind.

Interesting Rhino specie Facts

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  • All types of  rhinos have 3 toes per foot making them “three-toed ungulates” and the black rhinos are bale to run on their toes!
  • Black rhinos are able to pick up small items and open gates, vehicle doors and various objects with their prehensile top lips!

Interesting Buffalo Facts

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  • Buffalo have a history and have been  said to have killed more hunters in Africa than any other wild creature.
  • Buffalos memories are good and are known to ambush hunters that have hurt them in the past.
  • Females buffaloes, the only wild cattle species buffalos that have powerful bonds and if one person is assaulted the casualty will be defended by the entire herd.

Do you have more interesting facts about our great BIG FIVE animals!

 

 

 

 

 

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