Sunday, October 24, 2021

Elephants are the largest living terrestrial animals

 


Elephants (family Elephantidae) are the largest living terrestrial animals, characterized by a long body (long upper lip and nose), columnar legs, a massive head with a temporal line and wide, flat ears. Elephants are gray-white to brown in color and their hair is sparse and coarse. They commonly live-in savannas, grasslands, and forests, but occupy a wide range of habitat, including desert, swamp, and highlands in tropical and subtropical region of Africa and Asia.

The African savannah or bush elephant (Loxodonta Africana) can weigh up to 8,000 kg (9 tons) and stand 3-4 meters (10-13 feet) at the shoulder. The African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclosis), which lives in the rainforest, was recognized as a separate species in 2000 and is smaller than the savannah elephant. It has slender fangs that point downwards. The common belief that "pygmy" and "aquatic" elephants existed is unfounded. They are probably a variant of the African forest elephant.

The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) weighs about 5,500 kg and has a shoulder height of up to 3.5 m. Asian elephants include three subspecies: Indian or Continental, Sumatran (E. maximus Sumatrans) and Sri Lankan (E. maximus maximus). African elephants have much larger ears that are used to dissipate body heat.



Form and function

Trunk

An elephant's trunk, or nose, is one of the most versatile organs that have evolved among mammals. The structure of elephants is unique to member of the order Proboscidea, which include the extinct mastodons and mammoths. Anatomically, the torso is combination of lips and nose. The nostrils meet at the ends. The trunk is large and powerful, weighing approximately 130 kg (290 lbs.) for an adult male and can lift a load of approximately 250 kg. But it is also extremely agile, mobile, and sensitive, making it appear almost independent of the rest of the animal. The nose is made up of 16 muscles. Critical muscles covering the top and sides are responsible for lifting the torso. The other covers the background. Inside the torso is a very complex network of transverse and radial muscle bundles that provide fine movement. Nearly 150,000 muscle bundles were counted in the cross section of the torso. The trunk is very sensitive as it is innervated by two nasal nerves. The bifurcation of this nerve has evenly spaced tactile bristles on most of the trunk, especially at the ends. The tip of the body has a fin-shaped protrusion that allows it to perform incredibly delicate functions such as picking up coins from a flat surface, opening a peanut, blowing the shell and scooping the kernels out of the mouth. African elephants have two limbs (one up and down). There are Asian elephants. Asian elephants typically wrap the tip of their torso around an object and lift it in a way called "grasping", while African elephants use "pinch" to pick up objects in a similar way to humans. thumb and index finger. The torso of African elephants can be more extended, while the trunks of Asian elephants are probably more agile.

Elephants also use their torso with their hands in other ways. To use a tool on an elephant is to grab a branch and scratch where the trunk and tail can't reach. Occasionally you can grab a big branch and throw things at the threat screen. When elephants meet, one side touches the other's face or entangles their torso.

Breathing, drinking, and eating are important functions of the torso. Most of your breathing happens through your torso, not your mouth. Elephants suck up to 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of water through their trunks and then spit them out of their mouths. They use the tips of the stems to tear off herbs, leaves, and fruits and put them in their mouths. If danger is suspected, the elephant can lift and twist its trunk like a "olfactory periscope" and sniff the air for information.

Sound production and water storage

Elephants produce two types of vocalizations by changing the size of their nostrils as air passes through their torso. Low sounds are growls, growls, sniffles and roars. A high sound is a trumpet, a trumpet, a plucked trumpet, a trumpet ball, a bark, a rough cry, a shout. A rattle, initially thought to be caused by intestinal activity, is now known to be produced by the larynx (larynx) and is considered to be similar to a cat's purr. Vocalization begins in the larynx and pharyngeal sac, a special structure associated with the larynx. In most mammals, the throat contains nine bones connected in a box-like structure, the hyoid apparatus that supports the tongue and larynx. Elephants have only five bones in their hyoid bone, and the boneless space is filled with muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Fangs and teeth

Elephant tusks are enlarged incisors made from ivory. When in females, the fangs are small, slender and uniform in thickness. Some male Asian elephants lack tusks and are known as mikan. The size and shape of canine teeth are inherited. Tusks are used to defend, attack, dig, lift objects, gather food, and remove bark. They also protect the sensitive torso that rests between the elephants as they charge. In times of drought, elephants use their tusks, legs and trunk to dig wells in dry riverbeds.

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