Baobab trees damaged by elephants

Title Info
Common name Baobab; Elephant, African
Scientific name Adansonia digitata; Loxodonta africana
Taxonomic group Bombacaceae; Elephantidae
Level FamilyFamily
Source Dan L. Perlman
Ecosystems Grasslands, savannas
Grasslands and savannas Tropical savanna
Ecological interactions Herbivory
Date July 31, 2003
Location Tarangire National Park,Tanzania,Africa

Baobab trunk with elephant damage, Tanzania. This photo shows the outcome of a battle between individuals of two massive and very long-lived species: baobabs and elephants. While baobabs only grow about 70 feet (20 m) tall, they can be up to 50 feet (15 m) in diameter (yes, diameter, not circumference). Baobabs may live as long as 3,000 years, during which time they experience many changes (in dry years the girth of the baobab tree actually shrinks). In comparison, African elephants, the largest land animals alive today, can be 4 yards (4 m) tall at the shoulder, weigh up to 7 tons (over 6,000 kg), and live for 60-70 years. This image clearly shows where elephants have not only peeled the bark off the trunk of the baobab but have cut deeply into the trunk.