Posted in Africa, Elephants, Nature, Photography, Travel

Your Daily Elephant

A continuing series of elephant photographs.  Elephant molar, ridges like elongated dishes set to dry edgewise in a rack.  Their molars work like huge horizontal vegetable graters, grinding food back and forth across sharp, upright edges.  Elephants have four molars, two in the upper jaw, two in the lower.  They erupt in the back of an elephant’s mouth and move forward, becoming a conveyor belt of teeth, crumbling off in pieces as they wear down in the front of the mouth.  In their lifetimes elephants will have six sets of molars, the last set wearing down when an elephant is in its sixties.  Only one percent of elephants will develop a seventh set.

photograph by Cheryl Merrill
photograph by Cheryl Merrill



Cheryl Merrill’s essays have been published in Fourth Genre, Pilgrimage, Brevity, Seems, South Loop Review, Ghoti, Alaska Quarterly Review, Adventum and Isotope. “Singing Like Yma Sumac” was selected for the Best of Brevity 2005 and Creative Nonfiction #27. It was also included in the anthology Short Takes: Model Essays for Composition, 10th Edition. Another essay, “Trunk,” was chosen for Special Mention in Pushcart 2008. She is currently working on a book about elephants: Larger than Life: Living in the Shadows of Elephants.

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