Friday, September 9, 2011

Research Paper on African Elephant

Research Paper on African Elephant

Elephants are among the biggest animals in the world, they are the second tallest, and are the only animals that have a long muscular snout and two long, curved tusks. They are highly intelligent and very strong animals. Elephants are the largest land animals and have life spans of 60 years or more. They prove to be extraordinary animals.

There are two main types of elephants, the African elephant and the Indian elephant. The elephant that I have chosen is the African Elephant. The African elephant can be found in Africa, south of the Sahara, where the climate conditions are dry and hot.

Elephant reproduction is unique in many ways. The male genitals are inside the body whereas the female reproductive organs are on the outside; they are very hard to see. It is difficult to tell the two genders apart, which is often a problem when trying to find a mate. The mammary glands on the female which are the same size and shape as the breast of a woman help to identify the gender of an elephant. Another way to identify the gender is the shape of the skulls. Mating is a process, which takes place over the period of a year. Elephants are not predators as they are herbivores, and they are only prey when they are in their younger years.


The elephant species is not a solitary animal. The elephants live in herds. The average herd contains six to twelve members, but it is very common to have a herd of over twelve members. There are two different herds; one herd consists of only women who are called cows, and their children. The other is a herd that only consists of men which are called bulls. The female herd is led by the oldest member who is called the matriarch. When the matriarch dies the oldest child will take its place as leader. When the men are children they stay with their mothers, but as they grow older they leave the cows and join the bulls. Elephants are migratorial animals as they move around a lot.

The elephant's long trunk plays a very important role in the elephant getting food. The trunk grabs the food and puts it into the elephant's mouth. The typical elephant will eat for fifteen to twenty hours per day. An adult elephant eats 75 to 150 kg (165 to 330 lb) of food each day. Its diet includes many plant parts - leaves, twigs, bark, shoots, fruit, flowers, roots, tubers, and bulbs. They have a large appetite.

Elephants have a total of four teeth, all molars, which have jagged ridges for grinding leaves, stems, and roots. A single tooth can weigh more than 5 kg (11 lb) and measure 30 cm (12 in) in length. Their tusks are used to dig for water, to lift objects, and to defend themselves. The tusks themselves can lift 900kg (2000 pounds). Elephants grow six sets of molars during its lifetime; every set consists of four molars

The feet of the elephant are also very unique. Each foot is nearly round and each foot has a thick pad of tissue which acts as a cushion. This thick tissue is what makes the foot unique, when the foot is pressed down the tissue expands increasing the size of the foot and absorbs all the weight. When the foot is lifted the tissue contracts decreasing the size of the foot. The back two feet of the elephant have three toes and the front feet have four or five toes.

The elephants have a very simple digestive system. The stomach is not used to break down much food because its main function is storage. When the food then reaches the stomach; it acts as a big storage facility. The feces travel through the small intestines, then through the rear-end. Scientists often use feces to determine the size of an elephant. Food passes quickly through the digestive system before nutrients are absorbed, causing elephants to discard about half the plant material they consume.

The circulatory system of the elephant can be quite complex. It can have a heart that weighs up to twenty eight pounds which beats at rates up to 28/min when standing, and 32/min when sitting or lying. Due to the huge size of the arteries they are supported by elastic fibers. The blood vessels can reach a length of up to 350cm.

An elephant has no pleural cavity. The lungs of the elephant are directly attached to the walls of the chest cavity and the diaphragm. This means that all respiratory movements are completely dependent on chest muscles. The air enters the lungs through internal nares which are located on the forehead. An elephant can also breathe air through its mouth and trunk. Elephants must have a strong muscular system in order to be able to support all their weight. Many of their muscles are located in the trunk because they have to be able to turn over logs and it is also used in defending themselves.

The African elephant's eyesight is not very good. It uses its big ears for ventilation and communication. Elephants have good hearing due to their large ears. The elephants make sounds which humans cannot hear which are called infrasound. The elephants can communicate from a distance of 4km.An elephant can raise its trunk in the air and it can smell food or enemies. It can smell a human 1.6 km away. The sense of touch is the keenest sense on the elephant, because the trunk has many sensory hairs at the end of the trunk, which allows it to feel how big the object is and the shape of the object.

The skeletal system of the elephant has to be very strong to support the massive amount of weight of the elephant. It weighs about 16.5 percent of an elephant's total weight. Normally an elephant will have twenty ribs. The back bone is where the soft tissues are hung from. The bones on an elephant interlock. The neck has seven vertebrae.

The color of an elephant depends a lot on the surroundings in which it lives, because the elephant is continuously throwing mud on itself to keep itself cool in the hot climate. When an elephant is born it is covered with sparse brown, black or reddish brown hair that eventually falls off as the elephant gets older. When older the elephants seem hairless, but they do have bristles around the ears, mouth, eyes, and some hair on the trunk, legs and other parts of the body. An elephant has a lot of hair on its tail sometimes reaching lengths of up to 100cm. Some scientists say it is used to swat flies of its body. The skin of an elephant is very sensitive.

Over the many scientific tests and research done on African elephants they have proven to be very unusual and unique animals. They are still studied a great deal today will be studied for many years to come.

Warning!!! All free online research papers, research paper samples and example research papers on African Elephant topics are plagiarized and cannot be fully used in your high school, college or university education.

Order Custom Research Paper on African Elephant
If you need a custom research paper, research proposal, essay, dissertation, thesis paper or term paper on your topic, will write your research papers from scratch. Starting at $12/page you can order custom written papers online. We work with experienced PhD. and Master's freelance writers to help you with writing any academic papers in any subject! High quality and 100% non-plagiarized papers guaranteed!