Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

Two massive African elephants play in the river in this wildlife photograph. Both animals are wet and a fun time tussling with one another in the water.

copyright Anette Mossbacher, 3 August, 2020

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This photograph was captured with a X-T2 and a lens. The following settings were used:

  • Aperture: ƒ/7.1
  • Exposure time: 1/420s
  • ISO: 3200
  • Focal Length: 378.8mm

The original photograph has the following dimensions: 5808 by 3872 pixels (WxH).

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Background

As these two African elephants play in the river, they are splashing about and having a fun time tussling with one another. The elephant on the left is standing and has its ears raised outwards, flapping, and making a fuss. During its parade, the elephant on the right is above the water up to its shoulders. Its trunk curls inwards. Both elephants have a dark complexion due to the moisture from the water.

Social interactions and communications between members of the herd are common uses for their trunks. A mother and calf show much caressing. Other social interactions may include greeting and demonstrations of dominance or submission used with many different trunk postures and movements. They use their trunks mainly to dig for food like tree roots. The defense is another primary purpose of their trunks. In encounters during fights for dominance, they can use tusks to stab opponents. Indeed, they even use their tusks to dig holes in the ground to retrieve groundwater in times of severe drought.

Other social interactions may include greeting and demonstrations of dominance or submission via various trunk postures.

African elephants, Loxodonta africana, listed in category vulnerable on the IUCN list.

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