Elephants, Hippos, and Rhinos – Oh My!

Facts you Probably Didn’t Know About These Fascinating Creatures

One of the most captivating aspects of embarking on an African safari is the once in a lifetime opportunity to behold magnificent wildlife in a raw natural setting.  The Serengeti invites you to enjoy the visual splendor of Earth’s largest land mammal – elephants. Weighing between 2.5 to 7 tons, a male elephants is roughly the same mass as an average school bus.

You might catch a glimpse of elephants flapping their ears in the glistening African sun. This is a physiological mechanism to cool down their body temperature.  This is a blessing considering that some regions of the elephant’s body contain skin that is over an inch thick, so cooling off is a necessity. Even more interesting is the fact that an elephant’s trunk contains over 40,000 muscles, which are used for smelling, grabbing, drinking, and breathing.

If you’re venturing into the wetlands or waterways, you are bound to see a hippo. Meaning “river horse” in Greek language, hippos make sure they stay cool by spending over 15 hours of an average day in water filled environments. When totally submerged, these stunning creatures can hold their breath under water for over five minutes, which is curious considering that hippos are born underwater.

While rhinos are a critically endangered species, some people are still prone to commit crimes in order to sell their horns for soaring prices.  Rhino horns are made from a material that is similar in composition as human fingernails. If a rhino’s horn were to break off during a fight, it can eventually regenerate itself in time. Despite having notably poor vision, these vegetarians can still accelerate up to speeds of 35 miles per hour to charge at targets.

 

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