African elephants have evoked awe and fascination among wildlife enthusiasts for years for their fantastic anatomy. Moreover, African elephant, scientifically known as Loxodonta Africana is the largest terrestrial animal. Their unique limb structure has fascinated researchers for ages for their strength. Furthermore, the cushioned feet help them balance their weight. Researching these animals has revealed a lot of interesting facts about their adaptability and habits. However, African elephants are among some of the oldest species walking the earth and learning more about their health and anatomy makes it easier to devise ways in which they can be kept alive and thriving.
Studying African elephants And Their Anatomy
There are several exciting findings that researchers have come across as they explore the anatomy of African elephants. The species suffered from foot disorders. Researchers have considered them to find out more about ways to prevent such health issues. Moreover, understanding their anatomy also helps us in many ways to conserve the species. Here are a few interesting facts about these giant territorial mammals that will enlighten you more about this exotic species:
- The cushions under the feet of the African elephant are called the subcutaneous cushions and can absorb excess force.
- They use anatomical and historical techniques like magnetic resonance imaging and computer topography.
- In both the forelimb and hind limb prepollex is present. Hence, they can support the metacarpal compartments of the cushions.
- The cushions have fibrous connective tissue which forms large metacarpal and digital compartments. Moreover, there are smaller chambers that contain adipose tissues.
- Inside the cushions of their feet, there is collagen, reticulum and elastic fiber that helps with their locomotive.
The Macromorphology Of An African Elephant’s Foot Cushion
- It is similar to cattle’s digital cushion and the footpad of humans as well. However, it bears no resemblance to the underfoot cushioning of horses.
- The feet cushion is a susceptible structure of the elephant and also more prone to disorders than any other part of their anatomy.
- There are several works of literature where the feet cushions of elephants occur, particularly that of a captive elephant. Some of this work includes works of Virchow, Ramsay and Henry, fowler and many more. Moreover, the structure provides “noiseless stepping” which is noteworthy considering the weight of the species.
- Foot disorders are more common in captive elephants than the wild ones, which often lead to the debate on the adverse condition of the animals in captivity.
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The anatomy of the African elephant is a massive field of study, specifically their feet cushioning. The facts, as mentioned above, are basic facts that are attractive to those who are amateur in the study of these mammals and wish to learn further. If you want to read more posts like this, stay tuned to our Blogspot and subscribe to us.