About the Author

Jess Shillaw

Guest contributor

Jess was born in Kwazulu/Natal but grew up in Cape Town. Having an innate love for all things wild but getting to spend little time in the bush while growing up, she headed straight for the Lowveld after school. She completed a guiding ...

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on The Fascinating Anatomy Inside A Giant

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Interesting reading and beautiful camera captures of the mighty African Elephant. Thank you.

Jess, I loved elephant

Master Tracker

Thank you very much -super blog


Very informative perspectives of our favorite animal family to visit !
Great photos.

Jess, this is an awesome blog post! We’ve shared it with some of our grandchildren to help them understand more about elephants! You did a great job of translating very complicated details into something that’s been “translated into English“! Plus, the images are fantastic!

Thank you and I’m glad I could help your grandchildren understand how an elephants body works to help them survive their natural world, after all the next generation of children are the animal’s future protectors!

These animals are amazing and one thing I learned from my first Zim guide , Garth Thompson, was that elephant knees are similar to humans and no other animal has this distinction.
I remember sharing this with Jess on one of our visits.

Yes thank you for reminding me, John! I hope you are well!

Nice pictures and very accurate and interesting facts about those giants. I had to smile about the 2000 liters of methane. It’s a pleasure to see big tusked-mature males

Thanks Jess, really interesting as always. I think I remember seeing a picture on the blog last year (?) of a bull elephant precariously balancing on his back legs so his trunk could reach higher branches. I must admit, I do like the idea of being able to eat all day long….

I agree with you, Suzanne! Eating all day does not seem too bad!

Informative post with beautiful accompanying photos.
What always strikes me about elephants is for their massive size how quietly they can move. Another adaptation of those fabulous feet.

Thanks for the interesting article on these wonderful giants! Elephants are such amazing animals.It’s wonderful to watch them to be sitting quietly in the midst of a breeding herd or watch bulls’ interactions. Great photos!

What a great way to start my day, with my favorite animal and marvelous pictures – some of which I had not seen before and got to add to my favorites. We simply must ensure that these intelligent and emotional animals endure on the planet.

Thank you for helping me understand how the wonderfully adorable giants bodies work!! Victoria

Senior Digital Ranger

Fantastic post! Loved this!

Such an informative article Jess ! I certainly learnt a lot about these magnificent beasts….wonderful how each creature has adapted perfectly to their needs. Thank you 👌🏻🙏🏻💕

Senior Digital Ranger

I thought I knew a lot about elephants, but this blog Jess was totally informative and amazing!

Thanks for educating me about African elephants. Great info and pics.

Hi Jess. Taxonomists claim that elephants are related to Rock Hyraxes (Dassies). Please could you enlighten us on this? We have a bottle of South African wine grown near Stellenbosch. It is called “Elephant’s Cousin” and on the label are pictures of what we South Africans call Dassies! Lovely white wine incidentally! Neil and Wendy M

Jess very interesting and thank you for explaining the anatomy of the elephant. There are many things that I did not know about our elephants, but know you explained everthing so clearly. They are gentle giants, they earn respect from all and are loved by all. Good blog today Jess, thanks.

Jess, such a fascinating and informative blog regarding the “whys” of elephants – why a trunk? This would be a terrific lesson for teachers to use during a science class, related to animals, the hows and whys. I always appreciate your articles.

Senior Digital Ranger

There are so many defining words to describe the “Over-all ways” of the elephant. While seeing the pictures, I don;’t know whether to say “Holy Moly!” or Ouch!
Mi first question for you Jess, is, .. has it ever been explained as to WHY elephants have wrinkled skin? and Second, when they eat branches from bushes such as the one with the thorns, Do they FEEL thorns in their mouth or do the thorns get broken down to the point that they’re not felt? – Third, it is said that Elephants have a great memory. Has there been any scientific research to explain this physical factor? .. or do they live vicariously amidst their own wanderings and bliss?? ( 🙂 )
You information otherwise is very informative within the compact aspect of your essay, giving way to having more understanding about elephants.

I love this at-once concise and in-depth look at the elephant anatomy! It really helped to understand the “how” of what they do!!

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