W&N watercolour on Visual 200gsm – The African Elephant (Loxodonta Africana). If you have the time, please read the full description, it’s a wonderful new take on this grand animal.
Elephants move slowly to protect their vast brain, with which they can hear subsonic sound . . . They can sprint faster than any human, at 30 to 40 mph, and for longer…
Their foreplay can last eight days, and that’s very heavy petting! They can show affection without being instantly possessed by a desire to get their rocks off on the spot . . . And their rocks are no Milk Duds! (One aberrant jet of elephant sperm will feed a forty-foot high ant hill for a year).
Pregnancy lasts two years – which suggests they’ve given it some thought . . . An elephant’s birth is attended by two or three midwives in the centre of a protective circle. The baby’s first site is of its placental membrane being tweaked into the air and flipped away in triumphant relief like a giant, flailing Frisbee!
The herd is a mobile crèche and old people’s home, and elephants can detect fellow members of their tribe from a distance of five miles; human beings from only two miles; Which, incidentally, makes the human aura three miles weaker!
…they will place their trunks into the mouth of an injured companion. They will altruistically remove stricken fellows out of the line of fire. They have been known to practice mercy killing. They will examine corpses extensively: Scanning the whole body, using the dilated tips of their trunks as organic stethoscopes, almost as if conducting an autopsy to discover how they died . . .
…they bury their dead, by covering them with mud earth, leaves and branches; then return later to draw the tusks, removing them several miles away, or seizing them and shattering them against a nearby tree, as if to cheat traders, and have done so since Herodotus first recorded the ruse.
- Info from Heathcote Williams
18th September 2011 – FEATURED in “Cee’s Fun Artsy Friends”