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The animal appearing on the cover of MCSE in a Nutshell: The Windows 2000 Exams is an African elephant (Elephas maximus). Elephants are the world’s largest terrestrial animals, striking not only for their great size (4-6 tons), but also their trunk. The trunk is used for both smell and touch, as well as for picking things up and as a snorkel when swimming. The most important use of the trunk is obtaining food and water. Another distinguishing feature is the tusks, modified incisors of durable ivory, for which man has hunted the elephant nearly to extinction. Like right- or left-handed people, elephants favor one tusk.
Elephants spend most of their day—up to 17 hours—preparing and eating their food, which consists of several hundred pounds per day of bamboo, bark, grass, roots, wood, and other vegetation. They generally sleep standing up for short periods. Elephants also take frequent baths in water or mud, and, when the weather is hot, fan themselves with their ears. They can trumpet loudly, and also often make a kind of relaxed purring or rumbling noise.
The lifespan of an elephant is about 40 to 50 years, though a few live into their sixties. They have keen hearing, and can learn verbal commands, increasing their popularity as circus ...