Which African animal can eat up to half a ton of plants each day?
The wild African elephant, the biggest animal on land, can easily consume more than 770 pounds (349 kilograms) of food each day. While that’s not technically half a ton, or 1,000 pounds (453 kilograms), it’s pretty close to it! The average male weighs 12,000 pounds (5443 kilograms), is 11 feet (3.3 meters) tall, and spends 16 hours of every day foraging for food in herds with up to 1,000 members. To find food, these vegetarians must roam large areas of the forest and jungle, where grass, shrubs, leaves, roots, bark, branches, fruit, and water plants are plentiful. Wild elephants often devour bamboo, berries, coconuts, plums, and sugarcane. An elephant uses its strong tusks (long, curved teeth) to tear bark off trees and to dig up roots and shrubs. It then relies on its trunk—a combined nose and upper lip—as a “hand” for picking up the food and passing it to its mouth.