African Elephant, Loxodonta africana
2008

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TAXONOMY

Describer (Date): Cuvier (1825)
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Loxodonta
Species: Loxodonta africana
Subspecies: L. a. africana and L. a. cyclotis
(many researchers now consider these to be
two separate species)

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Body Weight: Savanna elephant:
                         2400-6300 kg (5291-13,889 lb);
                      Forest elephant:

                      somewhat smaller
Shoulder Height: Bush: 2.2m - 4 m (10-13 ft)
                            Forest is shorter
Trunk:
1.8-2 meters (6-6.5 feet)
Tusks: 2-3 meters


DISTRIBUTION AND STATUS

Range: Savanna elephant: central & western Africa
            Forest elephant: central & eastern Africa
Habitat: Savanna elephant:Grassy plains & bushlands
             Forest elephant: rainforest
IUCN Status: Vulnerable
CITES Appendix: Appendix I & II depending
            upon location
Population in Wild:  500,000
ISIS captive population

BEHAVIOR AND ECOLOGY

Activity Cycle: Diurnal and nocturnal. Feeds
          16 hours and sleeps 4-5 hours
Social Groups: matriarchal groups of 6-14
Diet: Herbivorous - L. africana = browser,
        L. cyclotis = grazer
Predators: Humans


REPRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

Sexual Maturity: Females 10 years (males don’t
      reproduce until later)
Gestation: 22 months
Litter Size: single calf
Birth weight: up to 200g (0.44 lb)
Age at Weaning: 2-3 years
Longevity: wild up to 60 years; captivity
      up to 50 years (the record, to date)

SPECIES HIGHLIGHTS

Feature Facts: The large, complex brain of an elephant
is matched only by that of a primate or a cetacean.
Society Press: First Asian Elephants (Empress
      and Queenie) arrived at San Diego Zoo in
      1923, ridden by Frank Buck and Harry Wegeforth
     from the Santa Fe  Station to the Zoo. The Zoo’s
     first African elephant, baby Peaches arrived 9/21/58. .


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