The Taxonomy of an Elephant
By: Ally Whiting

What is taxonomy to me?

In my own words taxonomy is the categorizing, defining, grouping, and naming of an organism. There are 7 taxon levels in biology kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and species.

Taxonomy of an Elephant

Kingdom: Animalia - These organisms are multicellular and eukaryotic. Most animals can move independently. These organisms are heterotrophic, meaning they need to eat organisms.

Phylum: Chordata - The organism has a spinal cord and a tail for sometime in their lifetime.

Class: Mammalia - Mammals are endothermic. But unique to mammals are hair and mammary glands. The mammary glands makes milk that feeds the baby, and the hair helps keep the body and support a warm body temperature. Mammals have circulatory systems with a four-chambered heart, a brain, and four limbs. Most of the mammals are terrestrial, but there are some winged species, like bats, and aquatic types, examples are like whales and dolphins. There are three relevant groups of mammals that are divided by their embryonic development.

Order: Probiscidae - The Proboscides is a taxonomic order that has one living family, which is the Elephantidae, and some other families that are nonexistent. This order involves mammals with trunks and tusks.

Family: Elephantidae - The Elephantidae usually consists of elephants and mammoths; these mammals have tusks and trunks. Elephants are terrestrial organisms. Two species in the family are still alive, Loxodonta and Elephas are found in Africa and Asia.

Genus: Loxodonta and Elephas - These are the only species of elephants that are here today.

Species: Africana - The Savanna Elephant are the largest terrestrial mammals on Earth. Their trunks are used to help them with picking up food and water and carry it to its mouth.

Where is the Loxodonta Elephant found?

Interesting Facts

  The skull of the elephant takes up 25% of its body weight!

African elephants grow throughout their lives, but the rate slows after sexual maturity!

The upper lip and nose of the African elephant are extended to form the trunk!

African elephants use sounds well below the range of human hearing to communicate over long distances!

Named after the Greek word, ivory!

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