Life Style
Elephants, such intelligent animals
Publish Date: Jul 17, 2014
Elephants, such intelligent animals
An elephant flaps its ears preparing to attack PHOTO/Andrew Masinde
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Andrew Masinde  

Elephants are the largest living land mammals. These amazing creatures are favourite for animal enthusiasts and animal caretakers.

The manager Queen Elizabeth Conservation Area, Nelson Guma says elephants can grow to about 13 feet tall and weigh over 10 tonnes and can live for up to 70 years.

“Elephants spend 12-18 hours a day feeding. Due to their huge size, they require an enormous amount of food. Adult elephants can eat between 200-600kilograms of food a day. As herbivores, they consume grasses, tree foliage, bark, twigs, and other vegetation daily,” he said.

“Elephants can also drink up to 50 gallons of water a day, about as much as a standard bath tub holds,” he added.
He also said elephants have a variety of adaptations that allow them to survive in a wide range of habitats.


An elephant using its trunk to bathe. PHOTO/ Andrew Masinde

Their trunk is one very valuable adaptation.

“Elephants use their trunk much like humans use their hands, hey can be used to pick up food and to suck up water and shoot it into their mouth,” he explained.

They also use their trunk to suck up mud or dust and spray it over their body to protect their skin.

The trunk too contains a well-developed sense of touch and often used to comfort other herd members.

According to Birra Patronella, interpretive guide, elephants' ivory tusks are elongated incisor teeth.

“They use the tusks to dig out waterholes in dry riverbeds. They excavate the holes using their trunk, feet and tusks,” she explained.

An elephants' ears help them to stay cool. The ears are filled with blood vessels; by holding them out in the wind or flapping them, an elephant can create its own cooling system,” she explained.

She added that sometimes when you see it flap the ears very first, you have to leave its way because that is a sign that it is charging and any time it is about to attack.

“Young females often assist their mothers with calf care and provide all mothering for younger calves in the herd. Since female elephants are known to remain reproductive throughout most of their lives, this is their primary activity beyond eating and drinking,” she said.

Guma said male elephants in the wild, are driven out of the family group as they approach sexual maturity and they spend as much of their lives alone.

“Though males are mainly lonely in adulthood, they do at times associate in bachelor groups. In early years of adulthood, the young bulls spend time learning the capabilities of other bulls in their area and start a social hierarchy and status,” he explained.

“Elephants are highly intelligent animals with complex social behaviours that include threat displays, charging, and fighting among others. They use their ears as signalling devices, often to warn the herd of approaching danger,” he adds.

Related Stories

Hippopotamus: A wonder animal

The bustling wildlife

Wildlife in danger

Hippo attack: Two killed on L. George

 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Extremely intelligent children need special care
In class, he was the undisputed teachers’ favourite pupil, at home the joy of his parents, but at the playground, George Kabali was the jock. He was awfully bad at anything non-academic....
I am worried I may have contracted HIV on Valentine’s day
I’m afraid I may have contracted HIV/AIDS on Valentine’s Day. My boyfriend and I had a date which ended late and could not go back home alone....
Ugandan girls duped, lose money and virginity to diaspora guys
They come with huge chunks of money and splash it around to woo the girls. Since it’s every girl’s dream to go abroad, when they see these guys they start laying traps to get them but instead end up crying after being fooled and played....
Husband refutes wife
Issues of the lady claiming to have given birth to five sets of twins are taking a new twist after her husband Batte came out and refuted the claims....
Mapeera miracle registered
Last Tuesday, the Catholic Church in Uganda celebrated 136 years since first Catholic missionaries arrived in the country. Fr Simeon Lourdel (Mapeera) and Br. Delmas Amans, (Amansi) were the first to come to Uganda in 1879...
Is he cheating on me?
I am a stay-at-home mother and have been married for three years now. I have a two-year-old baby boy....
Do you think government is doing enough to contain the typhoid out break?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter