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Harvey's Safari Adventure, Day 5

Can you guess which animal Harvey and his friends saw today? We'll give you a hint: it is the largest land animal on Earth. Do you know what it its?

It's an elephant! Elephants are very impressive animals. Here are a few things you might not know about them:

  1. If you thought a rhinoceros was big, check out the elephant! He can weigh up to 6 tons - that's 12,000 pounds! He can also grow to be over 10 feet tall. Even baby elephants are big! They can weigh about 265 pounds at birth.

  2. Wild elephants have a pretty long lifespan. They can live 60 - 70 years!

  3. Elephants' trunks are amazing. African elephants have two "fingers" on their trunks that help them pick up small things. They use their trunks to suck up water to drink. Think about a gallon-sized milk jug. An elephant's truck can hold two entire gallons of water at one time! Elephants also use their trunks like snorkels to breathe underwater when they're swimming.

  4. Have you ever wondered why an elephant's skin is so wrinkly? God gave them those wrinkles to help their skin hold more water. In fact, their skin can hold up to 10 times more water than flat skin! It helps them stay cool in the African heat.

  5. So what about those tusks? They're not horns; they are actually over-sized teeth! Elephants use their tusks to scrape bark off trees and dig up roots. They also use them to defend themselves. Sadly, many people illegally kill elephants for their tusks because they are made of ivory.

  6. Elephants are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants, not meat. But they sure eat a lot of plants! An elephant needs to eat 300 - 600 pounds of food per day!

  7. Elephants migrate, or travel to another location, each year. When the dry season begins in June, their water holes will start to dry up and food will be harder to find. They will travel several miles to places near rivers and water sources that don't dry up. When the rainy season comes again, usually in November, they return to their homes where fresh water and newly growing plants can be found.

  8. Elephants remember everything! That's because the part of their brains that control memory are larger and denser than a human's brain.

  9. Family relationships are very important to elephants. Females and babies live in large family groups called herds. Males usually leave the herd when they're around 15 years old and go to live alone or with other males.

  10. Just like rhinos, elephants use mud as a natural sunscreen. Pretty smart!

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