240 images Created 30 Mar 2013
Desert-adapted elephants or desert elephants can be found in Namibia's Skeleton Coast and within the dried river beds that run into the Skeleton Coast. It is believed that there are only around 100 desert elephants left. Because they are not a separate species, there is little being done to protect them. These elephants have adapted to the harsh arid conditions in an extreme environment where water and food are scarce. They have been classified by some scientists as a subspecies (Loxodonta africana cyclotis). Desert elephants are taller with a leaner build, have longer legs and larger feet than their inland savannah cousins. Behavioral adaptation has been documented about desert elephants. They can travel for up to 4 days without drinking any water and have traveled as far as 70 kms/ 44 miles from waterholes to access food sources. Because of this, desert elephants are known to be more aggressive which may be perhaps due to levels of stress as they travel to known sources of water. Desert elephants do not deplete their food sources of vegetation like their savannah elephant cousins, giving the vegetation time to grow back - a lessen to be learned about conservation. Desert elephant breeding herds are smaller and they are found walking through sand dunes and deep rocky ravines in search of food and the known places for water.