🇬🇧🇧🇼 The herd, Chobe, Botswana
Elephants are the largest land animals now living. At birth an elephant calf weighs 120 kilograms, but the largest elephant recorded weighed as much as 11,000kg. They typically live for 50 to 70 years.
Elephants live in a structured social order. The social lives of male and female elephants are very different. The females spend their entire lives in tightly knit family groups made up of mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunts. These groups are led by the eldest female, or matriarch. Adult males, on the other hand, live mostly solitary lives.
Elephants can communicate over long distances by producing and receiving low-frequency sound (infrasound), a sub-sonic rumbling, which can travel in the air and through the ground much farther than higher frequencies. This sound can be felt by the sensitive skin of an elephant's feet and trunk, which pick up the resonant vibrations much as the flat skin on the head of a drum.
Elephants can have profound impacts on the ecosystems they occupy. Negative: By pulling down trees to eat leaves, breaking branches, and pulling out roots, they reduce woody cover. Positive: During the dry season, elephants use their tusks to dig into river beds to reach underground sources of water. These holes may then become essential sources of water for other species. Elephants make paths through their environment that are used by other animals.
I took this shot in Chobe National Park in Botswana. That was the biggest elephant herd I’ve seen so far, with more than 40 individuals.
Chobe National Park, in northwest Botswana, has one of the largest concentrations of game in Africa. By size, it is the third largest park of the country, after the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and the Gemsbok National Park, and is the most diverse.
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