Facts about Elephants

September 14, 2019

115 Top Elephant Facts

Want to know more about elephants? Check out our list of 115 elephants to learn more about these wonderful creatures! Most of us are well aware of elephants and have even seen at least one of them in person at a zoo or circus. There are many great facts about the elephant though that you should learn about, and this is the place to do so.

  1. Elephants are the largest of all land animals in the world.
  2. It takes a female 22 months from conception to have a baby. This is longer than any other animal in the world.
  3. A newborn elephant can stand up shortly after being born. They can weigh up to 260 pounds.
  4. The average life span for an elephant in the wild is from 50 to 70 years. They oldest known elephant in the world lived to be 82 years of age.
  5. The heaviest elephant in the world weighed 26,000 pounds.
  6. It is only a myth that elephants are afraid of mice. Movies such as “Dumbo” and pretty much any cartoon containing an elephant have perpetutated this myth for many decades, however the origin dates far further back in time (perhaps even as early as A.D. 77).
  7. The trunk of an elephant has more than 150,000 muscles and tendons in it.
  8. Elephants are herbivores. They eat a lot of different types of plants, mostly eating leaves, bark, fruits of trees and shrubs.
  9. Elephants have an excellent sense of smell and hearing but poor eyesight.
  10. Generally one tusk will be shorter than the other. This is because the elephant will use it more often for things. Just like people are either right or left handed it is believed that these animals rely upon a dominant tusk.
  11. The tusks of an elephant can weigh up to 200 pounds and can grow up to 10 feet in length.
  12. At 11 pounds, the elephant has a brain that is larger than any other animal in the world.
  13. For up to 16 hours a day elephants can be found feeding on a variety of plant life. They can consume from 300 to 600 pounds of food every single day.
  14. Baby elephants are blind at birth and rely upon their trunks and their mothers to help them.
  15. Most elephants in zoos, working, and in the circus are females as they seem to be easier to control. Males tend to go through cycles where they are instinctively aggressive.
  16. Males enter stages referred to as must where they are in a state of madness for a short period of time.
  17. Females can continue to have offspring until they are about 50 years old. They tend to have a new baby every 2 ½ to 4 years. Twins are extremely rare for elephants.
  18. Elephants are known to have a type of tuberculosis which can be transferred to humans. This is why those that work closely with them have to get a vaccination to prevent it.
  19. Reproduction can take place any time of the year for elephants. As long as they feel secure and they have plenty of food it is something that will regularly occur.
  20. Elephants can hold up to 4 gallons of water in their trunks at one time.
  21. The back part of the elephants ears is called its “knuckles” and it’s known as the softest part of their body.
  22. There are only three species of elephants; the African Savannah elephant, African Forest elephant, and the Asian elephant.
  23. African elephants have large ears shaped like the continent of Africa.
  24. African elephants are usually around 10 feet tall, weighing 8,000 to 16,000 pounds.
  25. Asian elephants are slightly smaller, around 9 feet tall and weighing 6,000 to 13,000 pounds.
  26. When elephants greet each other, they twine their trunks together.Elephants Greeting Each Other By Twining Their Trunks Together
  27. African elephants can weigh up to 14,000 pounds, which is about the weight of three cars.
  28. An elephants heart weighs between 27 and 46 pounds.
  29. Male elephants leave their family around the age of 14 years old.
  30. Female elephants live tight-knit lives with their families, while male elephants are more on the introverted side and live most of their lives by themselves.
  31. Elephants are the only mammal incapable of jumping or leaving the ground.
  32. Elephants can run up to 25 miles per hour, which is amazing for such a large creature.
  33. Elephants drink up to 160 liters of water a day.
  34. Elephants eat up to 50 tons of food each year.
  35. Elephants are able to hear sound waves way below the human hearing range, as they can hear sounds as low as 9 Hz.
  36. An elephant trunk is also called a proboscis.
  37. Baby elephants, or calves, sometimes suck their trunks just like human babies suck their thumbs. Check out some videos of cute baby elephants here.
  38. Elephants will throw mud and sand over themselves to protect themselves from the hot sun. Baby Elephant Bathing Himself
  39. Elephants dig waterholes and create footpaths for themselves.
  40. An elephants dominant tusk is called the master tusk.
  41. Female elephants can have babies until they are in their 50’s.
  42. Newborn babies can quickly stand up after they are born.
  43. Baby elephants usually weigh around 48 pounds.
  44. When elephants swim, they use their trunk as a snorkel.
  45. Having baby elephant twins is highly uncommon.
  46. Elephants only sleep for 2 to 3 hours a day.
  47. Elephant families are led by the oldest female in the group.
  48. Asian elephants have one more toenail on each foot than African elephants. Asian elephants have five toenails on the front feet and four on the back, while African elephants have four on the front and three on the back feet.
  49. Asian elephants have smaller tusks than African elephants.
  50. Elephants eyelashes are pretty long. In fact, they can measure up to five inches in length.
  51. Elephants making purring noises, much like cats do. Check out this video as a good example.
  52. Elephants skin is highly sensitive and over an inch thick, loaded with nerve endings.
  53. Elephant’s life expectancy is 60 to 70 years old.
  54. The oldest elephant to live was an Asian elephant named Lin Wang that died at 86 years old.
  55. Elephants show similar emotions like humans do. If a member of their herd dies, they show sadness and grieve the loss of their family members long after they have passed away.
  56. An elephants tusk can weigh up to 22 pounds each.
  57. Elephants do not have the best eyesight, but they have an amazing sense of smell.
  58. Elephants have four molars, two on top and two on the bottom of their mouth. Each molar weighs about five pounds each. They can only grow six sets of molars over their lifetime.
  59. An elephant’s tusks continues to grow throughout their life. An adult males tusk grows about 7 inches each year.
  60. Elephants wave their trunks to help them smell better.
  61. Elephants are able to identify themselves in a mirror,
  62. The most expensive coffee brands in the world make coffee from the droppings of Thai elephants.
  63. Elephants are actually very terrified of bees.
  64. Elephants use their ears to radiate excess heat away from their bodies.
  65. Elephants use their trunks to make loud noises, or “trumpet” to scare away enemies.
  66. An elephant’s trunk is sensitive enough to pick up a blade of grass but strong enough to rip branches off a tree.
  67. The word elephant comes from the Greek word “elephas” which means “ivory”.
  68. Elephants don’t like peanuts.
  69. Male elephants usually leave the matriarch group when they are 12 to 15, but not all male elephants are loners. Some will live in all male groups.
  70. Elephants can detect sounds with their feet. They can detect deep pitched sounds that vibrate through the ground.
  71. African elephants can detect water sources from up to 12 miles away.
  72. Research studies have been done where they found out that elephants can identify a person’s gender and age based on the sound of their voice.
  73. Elephants can identify others based on how they smell.
  74. Elephants take regular mud baths to protect their skin from the hot sun and insect bites.
  75. Elephants sometimes comfort their distressed friends by stroking them with their trunks.
  76. Elephants usually do not have any predators besides lions that will attack elephants sometimes, if they are young or weak.
  77. The African elephant is labeled as a vulnerable species while Asian elephants are endangered species.
  78. Elephants brains have more complex folds that other animals, which makes them one of the most intelligent animals on the planet.
  79. Elephants have a developed hippocampus, which is the region in the brain that controls emotions and spatial awareness.
  80. An elephant in a zoo in Korea has learned to mimic commands zoo keepers gave it, and it has learned eight words and their context.
  81. Elephants have been known to induce their own labor by self-medicating with plants.
  82. Male elephants court female elephants by using rituals involving different affectionate gestures and nuzzles.
  83. Once a baby is born, mothers will have several “babysitters” to take care of the calf so she has time to eat and produce enough milk for her baby.
  84. To protect their babies, adult elephants will cover baby elephants in sand as they sleep to protect them from the sun.
  85. If an elephant herd comes across a lone elephant who has died, they will still grieve or show respects to it.
  86. Elephants sleep standing up.
  87. African elephants will avoid eating a type of acacia tree because many ants live in these trees and they don’t want to get ants in their sensitive trunks.
  88. Female and male African elephants have tusks, but only the male Asian elephants have tusks.
  89. Elephants can recognize other elephant carcasses.
  90. Elephants breathe through their trunks 80% of the time.
  91. Elephants sweat glands are between their toenails.
  92. Asian elephants have fairly smooth skin.
  93. African elephants have darker, wrinkled skin.
  94. When an elephant loses their last set of molars, they will eventually die because they cannot eat.
  95. Elephants feet are covered in a soft padding that helps support their weight. This padding helps them walk almost silently, even though they are huge.
  96. Elephants can lift up to 770 pounds with their trunk.
  97. Baby elephants can’t use their trunk right away, because they have no muscle tone.
  98. A herd of elephants often walk in single file.
  99. Some elephants can swim for six hours without rest.
  100. Elephants are considered the strongest mammal on the planet.
  101. Elephants have “fingers” on the end of their trunks. An African elephant has two trunk tip fingers and the Asian elephant has only one finger on the tip of its trunk.
  102. Elephants can hear each others calls from 5 miles away.
  103. Elephants can only give birth once every 5 years.
  104. Some baby elephants may continue to take milk from their mother for up to three years.
  105. Elephants become fully independent by age eight.
  106. Asian elephants are usually found in Southeast and South Asia.
  107. African elephants are found in sub-Saharan Africa.
  108. A matriarch of a herd will usually teach young ones how to behave with other elephants.
  109. Matriarchs are also responsible for remembering where the best places are to shelter and find food and water.
  110. Male elephants usually take no responsibility in raising their young ones.
  111. Elephants have saggy or loosely fit skin. This helps keep moisture trapped underneath the skin, allowing the body to stay cool.
  112. There are 8 major muscles on each side of an elephants trunk.
  113. Elephants hair growth reduces over time.
  114. Herds of African elephants roam through 37 different countries in the continent.
  115. Herds of elephants may contain up to 100 family members.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 115 facts about elephants. If you have any other cool or interesting elephant facts, please leave them in the comments below!

 

  • Sasi says:

    Thanks for the fact its really nice to know about them

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