Elephants are the largest mammals that live on earth today. They have been here since the ages of dinosaurs! Yes, they are ancient and have seen so many changes around them. Let us look at some of the most interesting and amazing facts about this fascinating mammal.
11 Fun Elephant Facts
- There are two types of elephants- African and Asian. The African elephants are bigger and taller than Asians. Both female and male African elephants have tusks, but only the Asian male has tusks.
- Elephants are either left or right-tusked. The one tusk they use more is generally smaller in size due to wear and tear.
- Elephants have large, thin and very sensitive ears which are made up of several blood vessels that help regulate their body temperatures. During hot climates the blood is circulated through their ears which help them cool down.
- An elephant’s trunk is not just a long nose that helps it to spray water or carry load. Elephant’s trunk can smell water up to 3 miles away. Not only that, it can even sense the direction of water. It is also able to sense the size, shape and temperature of objects. The trunks contain more than 50,000 muscles!
- An adult elephant can drink up to 210 litres of water and can consume 500 pounds of hay every day. They spend about 16 hours a day only eating! They are herbivorous and eat leaves, twigs, bamboo, banana and hay.
- Elephants can live as long as eighty years. Indian elephants can live up to seventy years.
- An Asian elephant and an African forest elephant can weigh around 2,700 kg and can reach a height of 8 feet. An African Bush elephant is the heaviest and can weight almost 5500 kg.
- A female elephant is called a cow that gives birth to a calf after 22 months of gestation, which is the longest for any mammal. While male elephants tend to live alone, females tend to move in herds.
- Elephants maintain the forest ecosystem for survival of other animal species. They are an integral part of the rich biodiversity. Elephants are an endangered species as they have been poached for their tusks by ivory hunters.
- Elephants can swim. They use their trunks above water to help them breathe.
- Elephants have no natural predators. However lions sometimes prey on weak or really young elephants. It is only the humans that kill elephants for their own greed.