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African Elephant

African Elephant
Photo Information
Copyright: David White (dkaved) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 259 W: 17 N: 431] (2114)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1996-07
Categories: Mammals, Savannah
Camera: Olympus OM-10, Olympus 35mm
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Wildlife of Africa [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-11-01 13:50
Viewed: 8164
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The African Elephant
The adult male is much larger than the adult female. Head and body length including trunk: 19-24 feet. Shoulder height: 10-13 feet. Weight: 5.5 - 7 tons. Tail: 4 feet. Brownish gray skin has folds and may be one inch thick in places. The African Elephant has a marked dip between its fore and hindquarters giving a concave curvature to its back. Ears are large and fan-like. The trunk has two prehensile protrusions at the tip. Large tusks are present in both sexes. Elephants are digitigrade with pads of fibrous tissue to cushion toe bones.

Natural home range is 500 miles; migratory patterns are taught from one generation to the next. Now they are mostly restricted to parks and preserves. Habitat formerly was area south of the Sahara; agricultural expansion has severely reduced it. Highly adaptable, elephants can survive in forest, bush or savannah.

Elephants have an inefficient digestive system and digest only about 40 per cent of what they eat. They eat enormously. Estimates in the wild range from 100-1000 pounds of vegetation per day (a 16 hour period). Zoo elephants are estimated to eat approximately 50 pounds of food per ton of elephant per day. Working elephants need 300 to 600 pounds of food per day. The wild elephant is a destructive eater, uprooting and scattering as much as is eaten, often breaking down whole trees. Elephants eat almost anything green, but green grass, shoots and buds of trees and shrubs are preferred. Farms are often raided for fruits and vegetables of all types. Average daily consumption of water for full-grown animals is between 30 and 50 gallons.

The majority of the skull is honeycombed with sinuses to minimize weight. Tusks are elongated second upper incisors and grow throughout the lifetime. They are used for food gathering and carrying, as well as weapons. Molars make up other dental equipment; six consecutive sets of two upper and two lower molars are produced throughout life. The first set has three enamel layers, increasing to ten layers in the sixth set. The trunk is an elongation of the nose and upper lip; in adults it contains 150,000 muscles. It is used for eating, drinking, dust and water bathing, as well as communication. The sense of smell is highly sophisticated; they are believed to locate underground water by smelling the earth above. Vision is poor. Long lashes and nictitating lids protect the eyes from dust. Hearing is acute. Recent studies establish the use of infrasound (tones lower than humans can hear) for long-range communication. Ears are also used to control body temperature; blood circulating through the large vessels in the ears is cooled by flapping.

pvs, shirgold has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To claudine: Thanksdkaved 1 11-02 09:49
To arfer: Thanksdkaved 1 11-02 09:11
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-11-01 14:51]

Hi David,

A nice capture of this happy family well captured with good details and colors,I am busy with planning an african safari as well again and cannot wait to capture some elephants,


Hello David

A wonderful capture of this elephant herd.You get a sense of motion.Great POV and good DOF.The details are very good.Well seen in a natural surrounding.It must be very exciting to see a moment like this.TFS


Hello David,
You had a very good POV to catch those big beauties :)This composition, details, colors are very natural and I like this DOF. This is a great moment that you lived; I envy you a bit :) Thanks,

Hello Dave,
I love the sense of motion and power of this herd of elephants.
The light is very good showing nice details of the elephants skin.
Great work - Shir

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-11-02 17:47]

Hi David
Nice elephant shot. Good details, sharpnes, light, colours and POV.
Well done


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