10 Fascinating Facts about Elephants
Elephants are the largest land animals on earth. These massive creatures are some of the most intelligent animals on our planet.
Here are 10 amazing elephant facts you need to know:
Fact No. 1
The word “elephant” comes from the Greek word “elephas” which means “ivory”.
Fact No. 2
The gestation period of elephants is 22 months. Baby elephants weigh around 100kg on average. The babies can stand up shortly after being born.
Fact No. 3
The average lifespan of an elephant is from 50 to 70 years. Male African elephants can reach 3m tall and weigh between 4,000 -7,500kg. Asian elephants are slightly smaller, reaching 2.7m tall and weighing 3,000– 6,000kg.
Fact No. 4
Elephants spend between 12 to 15 hours eating grass, plants and fruit every single day! They use their long trunks to smell their food and lift it up into their mouth. An adult needs to eat up to 150kg of food a day – that’s 50 tonnes a year!
Fact No. 5
Elephants are highly social animals with incredible memories. It’s really true that elephants never forget. Elephants are known to display complex behaviour indicating that they feel empathy for others, and are capable of demonstrating other emotions including grief.
Fact No. 6
Elephants can get sunburned! These giants bathe in mud to help protect their skin from the sun. They also do that to keep bugs off.
Fact No. 7
Elephant tusks have a variety of uses: as a tool to dig for food or water and to strip bark from trees; as a weapon in battles with rivals; and as a courtship aid – the larger his tusks, the more attractive a male elephant may appear to a female.
Fact No. 8
Female elephants live in groups, all related and led by a matriarch, usually the oldest in the group. She’ll decide where and when they move and rest, day to day and season to season. Males leave the family unit between the ages of 12-15 and may lead solitary lives or live temporarily with other males.
Fact No. 9
The trunk of an elephant is flexible extension of his upper lip and nose. The trunk is an elephant's most versatile tool, used for breathing, smelling, touching, grasping, and producing sound. It's probably the most amazing body part in the animal kingdom!
Fact No. 10
Sadly, elephants are in trouble. Many are killed by humans for their ivory tusks because they’ve come into conflict with communities or simply for sport. Asian elephants also face threats from tourist attractions where people pay to ride on their backs or paint pictures on them.