The Paw Press

African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

Amelia Wignall, Journalist, Editing Board Member

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






African Elephants are endangered animals. They live in Southern parts of Africa and eat mainly roots and grasses. An adult can eat up to 300 pounds of food in a day. African Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They can weigh up to 6.6 tons (13,200 lbs.) and can be 10 feet tall at the shoulder. Adult African Elephants have 2 tusks that act as teeth. Calves are born with tusks, but their tusks fall out and are replaced with larger permanent tusks. Something that is unique to Elephants is their trunks. “Unlike the primate hand, the elephant’s grasping organ is also its nose. Elephants use their trunks not only to reach food but also to sniff and touch it. With their unparalleled sense of smell, the animals know exactly what they are going for. Vision is secondary.” -Frans de Waal, Dutch Primatologist/Ethologist. Female African Elephants live and travel in herds with their calves and the Males live alone. An African Elephant pregnancy lasts 22 months and the calves are born weighing about 200 pounds. African Elephants can also do something most animals can’t. They can tell each other apart. Communication is very important to Elephants. African Elephants can communicate by shaking their ears. They can also make sounds ranging 10 octaves. An elephant can hear another elephant’s call from up to 4 kilometers. African Elephants are very intelligent animals. 

Anyone who has seen an African Elephants will see that they have very cracked, wrinkly skin. Most people who have studied these mammals did not read anything into it. They just assumed that they just have wrinkly skin. But really, the African Elephant’s cracked skin is its way of cooling off. African Elephants have adapted so they can more easily cool off in the heat. African Elephants have been known to love playing in the water and covering themselves in mud. Because African Elephants cannot sweat, playing in the mud and spraying themselves with water helps their skin cool off. The cracks in their skin create small crevices for the water and mud to sit on so they can cool off. When an African Elephant is born, they don’t have cracks in their skin. So how do their cracks form? At first, scientists thought that these cracks were formed when an elephant’s skin shrinks, but studies show that an elephant’s skin grows and becomes thicker over time. This causes stress on the skin and makes it crack.  

African Elephants are very unique animals and they need to be protected.

About the Writer
Amelia Wignall, Journalist, Editing Board Member

My name is Amelia Wignall and I am a 7th grader at Catharine Blaine. I like to write science articles for the Paw Press. I think the most important part of being a journalist for the school newspaper is informing readers about things they should know. I was born in San Diego, moved to Maryland when I was six, and then moved to Seattle when I was nine. I enjoy math, science, and writing.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Features

    Nuclear Energy – Explained

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Features

    Exoplanets

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Arts & Entertainment

    Pet Page

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Arts & Entertainment

    Dungeons and Dragons Game Review

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Opinion

    The Race to Save Pod J’s Decreasing Orca Population

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Opinion

    Should We Lower Our Voting Age?

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Arts & Entertainment

    Pet Page

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    News

    Where Did They Go?

  • African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin

    Arts & Entertainment

    Start the Second Quarter With Roller Girl

  • Opinion

    8:50 Let In Time

The Student News Site of Catharine Blaine K-8
African Elephants and Why They Have Cracked Skin