Savanna Elephant

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by ibie, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. ibie

    ibie AH Veteran

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    Savanna Elephant

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    Common Name
    Savanna elephant

    Scientific Name
    Loxodonta africana Africana

    Location
    All of sub-Saharan Africa except for Central Africa’s dense tropical forest

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    Savanna elephants are found throughout the grassy plains and bushlands of Africa. They contribute to the maintenance of the savannas and open woodlands by reducing tree densities. Without them, many other plants and animals would not survive in the woodland areas. Savanna elephants are well studied and populations are easily estimated as a result of their visibility within the open areas where they live.

    Physical Description
    Savanna elephants are larger than forest elephants, and their tusks curve outward. There are differences in the size and shape of their skull and skeleton compared to the forest elephant.

    Diet
    As a result of their habitat, savanna elephants are often found grazing on grasses, but they also consume a wide variety of plants and fruits. This selection varies depending on the time of year; during the rainy season the elephant will feed more on grass than during the dry season.
    Reproduction

    African elephants can breed all year, but there is a slight peak in births in savanna elephants during the rainy season.

    Did you know?
    African elephants communicate across large distances at a low frequency that cannot be heard by humans.

    Social Structure
    In the savanna subspecies, each family unit usually contains 10 individuals and the bulls associate with these herds. Several family units often join together to form a 'clan' consisting of up to several hundred members led by a large female.

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  2. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Ibie,

    Thanks , very informative, waiting for more inputs......

    Monish
     
  3. andriesdeklerk

    andriesdeklerk AH Veteran

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    The African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) is a forest dwelling elephant of the Congo Basin. Formerly considered either a synonym or a subspecies of the African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana), some morphological and molecular evidence suggests that it may be a separate species. However, some authorities, notably the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group, consider the presently available evidence insufficient for splitting the African Elephant into two species. The disputed Pygmy Elephants of the Congo basin, often assumed to be a separate species (Loxodonta pumilio) by cryptozoologists, are probably Forest Elephants whose diminutive size and/or early maturity is due to environmental conditions.

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    African Forest Elephant in Frankfurt Zoo.Differences include the African Forest Elephant's long, narrow mandible (the African Bush Elephant's is short and wide), its rounded ears (an African Bush Elephant's ears are more pointed), straighter and downward tusks, considerably smaller size, and number of toenails. The male African Forest Elephant rarely exceed 2.5 meters (8 ft) in height, while the African Bush Elephant is usually over 3 meters (just under 10 feet) and sometimes almost 4 meters (13 ft) tall. With regard to the number of toenails: the African Bush Elephant normally has 4 toenails on the frontfoot and 3 on the hindfoot, the African Forest Elephant normally has 5 toenails on the frontfoot and 4 on the hindfoot (like the Asian elephant), but hybrids between the two species occur. The African Forest Elephant is an herbivore and commonly eats leaves, fruit, bark, and occasionally visits mineral licks.

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    Due to poaching and the high demand for ivory, the African Forest Elephant population approached critical levels in the 1990s and early 2000s. Late in the 20th century, conservation workers established a DNA identification system to trace the origin of poached ivory. It had long been known that the ivory of the African Forest Elephant was particularly hard, with a pinkish tinge, and straight (whereas that of the African Bush Elephant is curved). The DNA tests, however, indicated that the two populations were much more different than previously appreciated - indeed, in its genetic makeup, the African Forest Elephant is almost two-thirds as distinct from the African Bush Elephant as the Asian Elephant is.

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