Elephants eat an incredible amount of food, which shouldn’t be too surprising. For example, the African elephant can consume up to 600 pounds of food in a single day. Indian elephants also eat a huge amount of food but not nearly as much as their African friends.
Since elephants are herbivores, they eat grasses, bark and fruit. A typical adult elephant is capable of consuming over 300 pounds of food every single day.
The average elephant spends 16 hours per day eating because it needs so much food to maintain its size. An African elephant is slightly larger than an Asian elephant, so it eats more food.
It’s true that elephants eat ridiculous amounts of food, but they also require similar amounts of water. When thirsty, an adult elephant can drink as much as 55 gallons of water in a single sitting.
Elephants have been known to supplement their diet by digging up the ground to get salt and minerals. Once an elephant has dug up the soil, it will eat it. These massive animals will eat trees and grass of any size.
When living inside of a captive environment, they might eat bananas, apples, sugar cane, lettuce and cabbage. However, hay is used as a major type of food for them.
What Do African Elephants Eat?
These animals will eat fruits, leaves, buds, grasses and roots. Like other elephants, they’re herbivores, so they enjoy a healthy supply of plant food. They have trunks that can pick up small food items and strip the leaves off of trees.
Mother African elephants have been known to knock down an entire tree to provide food for her young. Unfortunately, due to the massive amount of food that they require, these animals end up devastating their living environment. The tree loss in an area where these animals live can be up to nine times higher than average.
What Do Asian Elephants Eat?
These animals, like their brothers and sisters, eat a wide range of bark, fruit and grasses. They’ll eat almost any type of plant or tree, and the size of these food items doesn’t really matter. Asian elephants are massive and can make short work of even the largest, toughest trees.
What Do Elephants Eat In The Wild?
The diet of a wild elephant consists almost entirely of roots and leaves, but it might also supplement its diet with fruit and various types of grass. When these animals are hungry, they’ll eat almost any type of plant that they can find.
Twigs and even flowers are on the menu. During dry spells, it’s not uncommon for elephants to knock down entire trees and allow their children to feed on the leaves.
This animal has just as big of an appetite as his African and Asian counterparts, but during any given day, he might eat slightly less than 300 pounds of food. Since it’s classified as a mega-herbivore, it loves to eat roots, bark, vines, tree stems, grasses and shrubs.
The amount and type of food that this animal eats is dependent upon the season and habitat. Indian elephants can be found all over Southeast Asia, so their habitats can vary wildly. In some cases, they might live and eat inside of moist grassland.
Some other common habitats for these animals are tropical evergreen forests, dry deciduous forests and semi-evergreen forests. Since the plant foods vary in all of these different areas, the diet for the elephants living in each area is different.