Elephant Tusk

An elephant’s tusks are really two overgrown teeth.

The elephant’s tusks are really teeth that are too long to fit its mouth.  They are made out of a hard, tooth like material known as ivory.

The African elephants grow the biggest tusks of all.  Many tusks are taller than a tall man and may weigh 80 pounds each.  Elephants use their tusks as tools to dig up roots to eat and for fighting.  With them, they can also fit and carry heavy loads weighing as much as a ton.

Young elephants grow small baby tusks called milk tusks, which are never more than two inches long, and shed them by the time they are two years old.  Then the permanent tusks grow in and continue to grow as long as the elephant lives.

Some other tusked animals are the hippopotamus, walrus and the wild boar.  You can see the hippopotamus-great tusks only when it opens it enormous mouth.  The walrus digs out food from the ocean bottom with its sharp tusks and the wild boar uses its powerful curved tusks for fighting and for rooting up tender roots and bulbs to eat. – Dick Rogers

 

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