African elephants are typically social animals. They live in family units, which consist of 10 closely related females and their young, while males roam in small, loose herds by themselves. These families sometimes merge with larger groups called “kinships,” which can consist of over 100 individuals. They communicate through body posture, smell, touch, and vocalizations. Their infamous trumpeting is used in excitement while others are so low frequency that you can barely hear them.
Elephants’ large trunks can be used for prying bark off trees, digging roots, or protection. The trunk contains over 100,000 muscles and is used for picking up food, breaking off branches, greeting, caressing, threatening, squirting water on its back to cool off, and throwing dust. It does not, however, function as a straw for drinking. An elephant takes the water into its trunk but then has to spray the water into its mouth to drink.
An adult elephant can consume 300 lbs of food each day