29 Fascinating Elephant Facts

Our planet is inhabited by many large land animals, and they include the elephant. Like the giraffe, already mentioned here, this animal is very easy to recognize. Today we’re introducing several facts and information about the elephant!

  1. two elephant species roam the earth. One of them is called the African elephant. The other is known as the Asian elephant. They don’t live in the same place, though. But the Asian species is divided into these subspecies: Borneo (Elephas maximus borneensis), Sri Lankan (Elephas maximus maximus), Sumatran (Elephas maximus sumatranus), and Indian (Elephas maximus indicus). The African species, on the other hand, is divided into forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana);
  2. among the two species, the one with the largest body is the African elephant. It can reach 8.2-13 feet (2.5-4 m). This includes the animal’s shoulders and toes. The total weight of this species is as follows: 5,000-14,000 lbs. (2,268-6,350 kg). In fact the smaller Asian elephant weighs less: 2.25-5.5 tons (2,041-4,990 kg). Its height is 6.6-9.8 feet (2-3 m);
  3. a fully-grown elephant stands out in a crowd. Apart from its large body, this animal has impressive tusks. They’re used for feeding, fighting and protecting themselves against predators;
  4. the African elephant’s ears are bigger than its cousin’s. Thanks to them, this species can cool itself by flapping the ears during hot temperatures. The ears of the Asian elephant are flat along the bottom; also, they’re both rounded on the top. Fun fact: the African elephant species has some special ears. Their shape remind us of the continent which gives the elephant its name. The ears contain a network of blood vessels which is very complex;

    savanna-elephant

    Savannah Elephant

  5. an elephant is also easily recognizable by its trunk. The latter has different uses. It’s of great help when smelling, breathing, and drinking water. The trunk is used for making noises and picking various things up, too. There are over 100,000 muscles in a trunk. An adult elephant can shower itself! To do that, it blows back the water recently sucked into its trunk. This creates a mist that’s really cool against its skin;
  6. the skin of an elephant is sensitive to the sun. But it’s very thick: 1 inch. Because the skin is sensitive, the animal will throw dust on itself to ensure its protection. Mud is also used for this;
  7. the World Wildlife Fund discovered another interesting fact about the elephant. It can be either left-tusked or right-tusked;
  8. researchers estimate that there are 35,000 – 40,000 Asian elephants in the wild. About 450,000 – 700,000 African elephants exist today;
  9. rainforests and scrub forests are favorite habitats for the Asian elephant species. They can be found in the following regions: Southeast Asia, Nepal, China, and India. Its relative sticks to a different habitat. The latter looks like this: the Sahel desert in Mali, sub-Saharan Africa, and the rainforests of Central and West Africa;
  10. an adult elephant is likely to eat certain types of foods. It prefers these: bark, root, and grass. In fact this interesting animal is also keen on various fruit; sugarcane and bananas are some of their favorite. To reach the nutritious roots, elephants will dig them out with their tusks. The same are used for pulling the bark. Adult elephants consume a total of 300 lbs. (which is 136 kg) on a daily basis;
  11. the rainy season is the best time for elephants to mate. A female elephant, which is called a “cow”, has to wait some 22 months till it can give birth. The weight of its offspring is 200 lbs. (that’s 91 kg). Elephants have only 1 baby. The baby’s name is “calf.” Its size at birth: 3 feet (1 m). The calf will feed on its mother’s milk. A male offspring becomes independent when he’s 2-3 years old. Female calves stick around longer: 13-20 years;
  12. elephants live in a group whose name is “herd.” This can have 8-100 elephants of both sexes. Males never rule; the females are the herd’s leaders. This is called a “matriarchy.” The matriarch is always the largest and oldest female elephant. She acts as a teacher to every young male and female elephant in the herd. All the females in this group protect and raise the calves. After becoming independent, a male will live with another one (or more). Or they will live on their own;
  13. family bonds between elephants are deep. These animals have a special greeting etiquette; as soon as they see each other, elephants will extend their trunks;
  14. communication between elephants is possible via rumbles produced at a sub-sonic level. This sound can be generated over a long distance. What’s more, the rumble travels at a faster speed than that of sound produced through air;
  15. an elephant’s memory is very strong. This makes the animal highly intelligent. Elephants are also very playful. They can display joy, grief, and many other emotions;
  16. the African elephant is a vulnerable species. The Asian elephant is considered endangered. This is due to ivory poaching and the loss of habitat;

    forrest-elephant

    Forrest Elephant

  17. an elephant can live more than 70 years in the wild;
  18. elephants don’t have strong eyesight;
  19. their pulse rate is only 27;
  20. they can’t jump;
  21. they keep silent for a couple of minutes whenever they reach a place where one of their own has died;
  22. the tusks and skulls of a dead elephant are touched very gently by a living elephant. This is their way of paying homage;
  23. elephants can hug by using their powerful trunks;
  24. an elephant can sense vibrations through its trunk and feet;
  25. an object’s temperature, shape, and size are all easy to identify with the trunk;
  26. there are 4 molars in an elephant’s mouth;
  27. a very soft padding covers the foot of an elephant. This is why you won’t really hear them approach you;
  28. swimming comes naturally to an elephant;
  29. Jumbo was the largest elephant known to man.

Did these fun and interesting facts surprise you? Drop us a comment below.

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