The African Bush Elephant

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African Elephant The African Bush Elephant, Loxodonta has adapted to suit its harsh environment. They can be found in most of Zimbabwe and Botswana. The rainfall in Botswana mainly occurs in December, January and February which is the wet season. There is 600mm of rain in the north-east of Botswana and 200mm in the drier south-west. (Siyabona Africa, 2014, stated) Adaptations: Limbs Skeleton An elephant has a large skull to use as a weapon when competing with other elephants over territory or for the female elephants to protect their young from intruder elephants. Skin and thermoregulation: Elephant are thicked skin on some areas of the body, this is known as pachyderms. Their skin is up to 1 inch thick in most areas but on some parts of the body such as the legs, the end of the trunk and back the skin is only between 2.5cm to 3 cm thick. The skin is very thin behind the ears, surrounding the eyes, abdomen, chest and shoulders. They have sparse hair which helps to cool the elephant’s temperature. The African bush elephant has deep and fine wrinkles where water is stored to moisten the skin, this is essential where they live in dry conditions. The water in the wrinkles will evaporate cooling the elephant’s body temperature. There are two layers to the skin which is the epidermis and dermis contained within these are the hair follicles and glands. Located in elephant’s ears are fine blood vessels which are close to the skins surface. The warm blood from the elephant’s body is pumped from it and into the blood vessels. The blood will be cooled down by the external air and then it’s pumped back into the body, this is important for maintaining the elephant internal temperature of 37 degrees where the environmen... ... middle of paper ... ...r chamber. The veins which transports the blood to the atrium from the lower half of the body are paired. (Body Systems, 2014). The deoxygenated blood travels via the vena cava into the right atrium. The right atrium then contracts causing the blood to enter the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve. The right ventricle contracts causing the blood to pass through the pulmonary artery and then into the capillaries or blood vessels in the lungs. In the lungs the carbon dioxide is then discharged by the red blood cells. The oxygenated blood from the lungs will be transported into the left atrium, the blood then gets pushed into the left ventricle through the bicuspid valve. The left ventricle then pumps the oxygenated blood through the aorta and then around the body. This means the elephant has a double circulation system as it travels through the heart twice.

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