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15 Interesting Elephant Fun Facts

Here are all the essential elephant facts you could shake a trunk at! We've put together 15 fantastic elephant facts!

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Beano Facts Team
Last Updated:  August 10th 2022

Elephants are amazing animals and these elephant facts prove it. They sound like they're playing the trumpet when they shout and are well-known for being very caring creatures, even though they could crush a car just by sitting on it. 

How many facts do you know?

If you enjoy these facts about elephants, you can test your elephant trivia or take this animal quiz! And if you're an elephant gag merchant, you'll find some absolute rib-ticklers here!

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1. Elephants are related to Wooly Mammoths!

Elephants are the modern day descendants of the woolly mammoths! Unlike mammoths, they've evolved without a woolly coat, since they don't live in cold places anymore!

2. Elephants like to hang out

Just like Humans, elephants are very social and prefer to live in groups. As well as living with their families, they also live in social groups, a bit like a village or town.

3. Elephants are big eaters

Elephants might look big and scary, but they only eat plants! An elephants diet consists mostly of roots, grasses, fruit and bark, and the adults can eat up to 300 pounds of food a day! In fact, they need that much food just to maintain a healthy weight!

4. African Elephants are huge!

This type of elephant – known to experts as a Loxodonta africana – are actually the biggest animal on land and can grow up to four metres high. This, of course, means that they'd struggle coming in through your front door. 

5. African Elephants have bigger ears than Asian Elephants

Asian elephants have small, rounder ears, while African elephants' ears are in the shape of their home continent. A handy tip there, in case you're faced with both species and they challenge you to a geography quiz. 

6. An Elephant's tusk is a tooth!

An elephant's tusk is made of ivory and is used to lift things, dig stuff up and protect their long trunk. But we've never seen an elephant brush its tusk before bedtime though, come to think of it. 

Elephant tusk

7. Elephants have an amazing memory!

There's an old saying which goes 'an elephant never forgets'. That's not because they're always taking notes, but it has something to do with the fact they have big brains. They can remember all sorts of events, and can even hold a grudge against other animals who've tried to hurt them. And they always send a birthday card on time, probably.

8. An Elephant can get sunburn!

Even though an elephant's skin looks like it's made of tough leather, they can get harmed by standing in the sun for too long. Too protect themselves, they'll cover themselves with cool mud, which is far cheaper than suncream.

Elephants with red cheeks

9. It takes an elephant ages to grow inside the womb!

An elephant's pregnancy lasts for about 22 months, which is well over twice as long as it takes a human baby. This, however, gives expecting elephant parents plenty of time to stock up on nappies and decorate their nursery. 

A baby elephant

10. Elephants are great at swimming!

While you won't see an elephant diving off the side of your local swimming pool, they can swim well in water and use their trunks like a snorkel. Clever!

11. They can run REALLY fast!

Despite their size, elephants can run at an average speed of 11 miles per hour. This is impressive, but we doubt we'll ever see one compete in the 100 metre sprint at the Olympics. 

A small elephant wearing running shoes

12. An elephant calf can can walk really soon after being born

A baby elephant is called a calf and can stand on its own 20 minutes after being born. Within an hour or two, they can walk around. That's so much quicker than a human baby. 

An elephant calf

13. An elephant's trunk can pick up really small objects

Even though an elephant's trunk is huge and can pick up logs, they're also very sensitive and can be used to pick up small objects, like a peanut. Engineers often study elephant's trunks to see how they work and use that knowledge to design robotic hands with gripping fingers.

An elephant holding a game controller

14. Elephants are in danger!

Elephants are in danger of being killed for several reasons - sometimes they are killed by trophy hunters, but their ivory tusks are also prized by poachers. Around 100 elephants die every day because of poaching! Their habitats are also being destroyed by climate change - so it's up to us as humans to hurry up and fix it!

15. Elephants are wrinkly for a reason

If you ever wondered just why elephants are so wrinkly - well, there's a good reason! The folds in their skin help to cool them down in the hot weather! Elephants have hardly any sweat glands, so they need other ways to cool down, which also included flapping their ears!