Elephants are herbivores so they eat things like fruit, bark and grasses. An adult elephant can eat more than 300 pounds of food per day.
Elephants spend around 16 hours a day eating because they have to have large amounts of food to maintain their massive bodies. African elephants are slightly larger than Asian elephants and, therefore, eat more. An African elephant can grow to weigh between 5,000 and 14,000 pounds and stands up to 13 feet tall. Both Asian and African elephants use their enormous tusks to dig for food and water and to strip the bark off trees. Tree bark is a favorite among elephants. They use their trunks to put the food in their mouths.
Besides needing hundreds of pounds of food each day, elephants also require large amounts of water to survive. Adult elephants drink between 18 and 26 gallons of water per day and male elephants can drink up to 55 gallons of water at one time.
At times when an elephant needs to supplement its diet, it digs up the ground to obtain minerals and salt. After digging up the soil, the elephant eats the dirt. Large hills have been carved out by elephants in India, and they make the perfect shelter for small animals.