Here are all the essential elephant facts you could shake a trunk at!
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?
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.
AFRICAN ELEPHANTS HAVE LARGER 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.
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. We’ve never seen an elephant brush its tusk before bedtime, come to think of it.
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.
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.
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.
ELEPHANTS CAN ACTUALLY SWIM!
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!
THEY’RE QUITE FAST EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE MASSIVE!
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.
AN ELEPHANT CALF CAN WALK QUITE SOON AFTER BEING BORN!
A baby elephant is called a calf and can stand on its own minutes after being born. Within an hour or two, they can walk around. That’s so much quicker than a human baby.
AN ELEPHANT’S TRUNK CAN PICK UP THE SMALLEST OF 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.