STEPHEN J. KRASEMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEPHEN J. KRASEMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
African elephant and calf. Adult African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and a newborn calf. The African elephant is the largest and heaviest land animal alive today. It can weigh over 7000 kilograms. It is a herbivore which lives in large social groups throughout the plains of central and eastern Africa. The groups, which can number over 30 individuals, are led by a mature female. The gestation period for an African elephant is around 22 months, and the calf nurses for a further three years. Other females in the herd help with the birth, removing the foetal membrane, and helping the baby to stand. Photographed in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.
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