Elephants at Ol Pejeta

48363717491_025c755fb9_k

Large ears and a powerful gaze from a bull elephant (Loxodonta africana) at the prime of his life. He was foraging closeby but separately from six other members of his herd— all females, subadults, and a baby. Because an elephant’s ears are most often held close to the body, it’s easy to forget just how huge they are. In an adult male bush elephant they can measure an astonishing six feet tall and four feet wide. Being extremely large-bodied animals, elephants need efficient ways to cool the body down in the intense heat of the African savanna. Their large round ears not only flap back and forth to cool the body by generating wind, but they also consist of a network of surface-lying blood vessels from which heat escapes. To lower their body temperature, elephants will also regularly wade in rivers and bathe in mud, using their muscular trunk to fling water across their bodies.

Photographed in situ [1]

A young elephant flaps its ears, seeming to copy the ear-fanning behavior of the bull elephant pictured above

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star