The African elephant belongs to the genus Loxodonta and it comprises two extant species:-
- African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana)
- African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis)
African elephants typically live in herds of 3 to 25 elephants. Elephants are extremely social animals, having their own hierarchical structures. Most elephant families have a matriarchal head – which means that an older female elephant leads the herd. Such a herd consists of the matriarchal head, her sisters and calves. Furthermore, elephants move in a single file when in search of food or water. Sometimes, the calves hold on to their mother’s tail with their trunks.
Elephants are known to take great care of their young, with females taking care of not just their own, but their sister’s calves too. This greatly increases the chances of survival for the calves.
Males usually form their own herds too – once a male reaches puberty, he leaves the group, either becoming a solitary bull or roaming with a loosely-knit herd of male elephants.
Interestingly, African elephants are known to bond closely with friends and family. There have even been reports of elephants mourning the death of their relatives – by repeatedly touching, smelling and regularly visiting the corpse. Except for humans, such behaviour is very unusual in the animal kingdom.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Scientific Name of African Elephant
What is the scientific name of African elephant?
The African elephant belongs to the genus Loxodonta and it comprises two extant species:- the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis).
Where are the African Elephants found?
African elephants are found in sub-Saharan Africa while African forest elephants are found exclusively in Central Africa.