An elephant is the largest land mammal. They are extremely intelligent and wise creatures and are known to have really good memories. They are mainly found in Africa and Asia and are typical herbivores, eating vegetation including grass, leaves, fruits and bark. Elephants are gentle animals, but if they feel the need to attack and protect themselves and their offspring, they can get violent. The elephant is known to have strong emotional bonds with other elephants and hence they live together in herds. The typical size of the herd can be around 20. A female elephant, called the matriarch, is in charge of the herd and ensures the members survival. Elephants living in a good environment can survive up to 50-70 years of age. However, they are becoming endangered species now due to habitat destruction and poaching. They are also a part of zoos and circus acts and are even used to carry logs around. The facts cited below will give you a better insight about this animal.
Fast Facts On Elephants
Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana (African savanna elephant), Loxodonta cyclotis (African forest elephant), Elephas maximus (Asian elephant)
Origin: Asia and Africa
Size: Up to 11 feet
Weight: 7000 to 13200 lb
Lifespan: 50 to 70 years
Habitat: Dense forest to open plains
Gestation: About 22 months
Interesting & Fun Facts About Elephants
- The elephant is the national animal of Thailand.
- A newborn elephant is able to stand up on its feet very soon after it’s born.
- An elephant’s trunk has more than 40,000 muscles in it and no bones, which give it the flexibility. However, the trunk can get very heavy at times. So, the elephants are seen to rest it on their tusk.
- Elephants consume around 15 quarts of water at a time.
- As the elephants rely on one tusk more than the other, usually one tusk goes through the grinding leading to one being longer than the other.
- Elephants use their trunks as a hose pipe by filling their trunks and then pouring the water in the mouth.
- An elephant is one of the few four legged animals, which cannot run or jump.
- At birth, the baby elephants are blind and they depend on their trunk and their mothers to help them.
- Females can mate and have babies until they are around 50 years old, and they tend to give birth every 2.5 to 4 years.
- Elephants feed around 16 hours a day and they consume around 300 to 600 pounds of vegetation every day.
- Male elephants go through bouts of aggression, which last for short periods. Hence, female elephants are kept at the zoos and used in the circus, as they are gentler in nature.
- Elephants are social animals and they are often seen touching and caressing one another and playing around with the trunks.
- An elephants tusk grows up to around 10 feet and weighs around 200 pounds.
- Elephants cool themselves by fanning their ears. This cool down the blood in their ears, which completely cools them off.
- Male elephants leave the herd when they around 14 years old to form their own male herd.
- Adult elephants sleep while standing up while some baby elephants lie down to sleep.
- The gestation period of an elephant is about 22 months, the longest for any land animal.
- Elephants have warm greeting ceremonies to welcome back a fellow member of the herd if it has been away for a long time.
- As elephants have a great sense of smell, they are able to recognize people by their smell even after many years, but their eyes are small and their eyesight is poor.
- As a means of communication, elephants purr like cats. The frequency of their purrs and the sound they make is way below the human frequency and hence, isn’t audible to the human ear.
- Elephants walk behind each other in a single line when they are travelling.
- An elephant poops around 80 pounds of feces in a day.
- The elephant rests by raising one foot and crossing it behind the other one.
- Just like dolphins and parrots, the elephant can also do mimicry. Some elephants in Kenya who were raised near the highway were heard to make truck sounds.
- On an average, the elephant sleeps for around 2 hours in a day.
- Elephant’s tusks are of ivory and they are actually the elongated and enlarged incisors.
- Elephants have a very sharp memory and they have the largest brains in the kingdom.
- They are great swimmers and are able to swim for long distances.