A Natural History of the African Elephant

A Natural History of the African Elephant

Explore the physical characteristics and social behaviors of the African elephant.


7 - 12+


Biology, Geography

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African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth! Watch this video for an up-close look at these gentle giants.

Elephants live in matriarchies—communities made up of elephant mothers, sisters, and babies that work together to survive on the African savanna. These elephant matriarchies coordinate movement, care for one another and mourn the deaths of family members.

African elephants are threatened by the ivory trade. Ivory is a luxury item used in such materials as piano keys, billiard balls, and carved decorations. Ivory is made from the tusks, or long teeth, of African elephants. Thousands of elephants are poached or hunted illegally, every year.

Watch this video, from the National Geographic film Battle for the Elephants, and see if you can answer the questions in the “Questions” tab.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Elaine Larson, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
J.J. Kelley
Elaine Larson, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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