How many times have you seen elephants when at the zoo? You may fall in love with their big floppy ears, a long trunk, or their tusks that look like huge teeth. An elephant is one of the largest and most amazing animals on Earth! These gentle giants have been wandering our planet for millions of years, and they’re packed with fun and fascinating facts. Ready to stampede into the world of elephants and discover some cool things with these fascinating facts about elephants? Let’s stomp with fun!
Elephants can be found in Africa and Asia. African and Asian elephants have some differences! African elephants have larger ears that look a bit like the continent of Africa, while Asian elephants have smaller, rounder ears.
Elephants in general love places with lots of grass, trees, and water.
Did you know the elephant trunk has many purposes? They use their trunks for all sorts of things: to drink water, pick up food, bathe, and even say “hello” to their friends. It’s like a super long nose and a strong arm all in one. Imagine if you could use your nose to pick up a toy or give a high-five!
Have you ever heard that elephants never forget? Well, we are pretty sure this is true! Elephants have big brains, and they’re known for their incredible memory. They remember paths to water, old friends, and even things that happened years ago.
Are you excited to dive deeper into the world of elephants with these fascinating facts about elephants? From their playful behavior to their special bonds with each other, elephants have tons of stories to share. So, let’s take a walk on the wild side and learn all about these magnificent creatures!
Don’t forget to download your facts about elephant cards to add to your growing collection of fact cards! Have you grabbed your facts about New Zealand cards yet or your Interesting Facts About Apples cards? Be sure you do!
Best Facts about Elephants
- Elephants are the world’s largest land animal.
- An elephant’s long trunk is an extension of its upper lip and nose.
- Only male Asian elephants have large tusks. Female Asian elephants have small tushes that rarely extend beyond their lip line.
- African elephants tend to use their long ears for reasons such as signaling others and protection.
- Around 90% of African Elephants have been wiped out in the past century.
- Their trunks are perhaps the most sensitive organ found in any mammal.
- African elephants, the largest species, can reach heights of up to 4 meters and weigh up to 6,000kg.
- Elephants have a heightened sense of smell and can detect water from miles away.
- The tusk of a male elephant is actually a modified incisor, and it grows throughout its life and can reach up to 10 feet long!
- In a study of elephant behavior, researchers found that when an elephant became distressed, other nearby elephants responded with calls and touches intended to console the individual.
- The average adult elephant poops 80 pounds a day!
- Elephants have around 150,000 muscle units in their trunk.
- Elephants are very social animals and live in herds.
- The elephant trunk serves as a nose, a hand, an extra foot, a signaling device, and a tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, digging, and much more.
- Elephant teeth are so strong they can crush even the hardest of materials, such as tree bark and bones.
- They have poor hearing, despite having such large ears.
- Elephant tusks are actually enlarged incisor teeth which first appear when elephants are around 2 years old.
- Elephants have an estimated 2,000-3,000 olfactory receptor genes, more than five times as many as humans.
- Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror.
- When an elephant dies, they gather around the dead body, vocalizing their sadness with trumpet-like calls and touching the body with their trunks.
- An elephant’s skin is 2.5cm thick in most places.
- They need to eat up to 150kg of food per day.
- African elephants drink 60 liters of water a day.
- Elephants eat so much that they can spend up to three-quarters of their day just eating.
- They can’t live without their trunks.
- Elephants purr like cats do, as a means of communication.
- Elephants are the only animals with four molars.
- Elephants can swim and they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
- An elephant fills its trunk with up to 5 quarts of water and then empties it into its mouth in order to drink.
- They use dirt as sunscreen.
- Elephants are highly intelligent creatures.
- A herd can consist of anywhere from 4 to 100 elephants, depending on the species.
- In cases of maternal death, a baby elephant will often stay by the mother’s side for days or even weeks.
- The calf is born with its eyes open and can stand within minutes.
- Despite their weight, the unique structure of their knees allows them to run at speeds of up to 25km/h.
- They grow six sets of molars, which are used to grind down food, over the course of their life.
- Elephants have good control over their tail and use them to fend off insects and flies.
- On average, elephants typically live between 55 to 70 years.
- An Asian elephant drinks 40 liters of water on average per day.
- Of all land mammals, elephants possess the largest brains.
- Elephants have been known to detect odors up to 7 miles away!
- An elephant’s trunk can hold 2.5 gallons of water.
- An elephant’s tail is usually 1.3 m long.
- Elephants are the only mammals that have four knees.
- Male African elephants can reach 3m tall and weigh between 4,000 -7,500kg.
- It is estimated that about 50,000 Asian elephants survive today.
- Asian elephants are slightly smaller, reaching 2.7m tall and weighing 3,000– 6,000kg.
- Their trunks contain up to 40,000 muscular ‘fingers’,
- The teeth of African elephants have diamond shaped ridges running across the teeth while Asian elephants have parallel ridges.
- Elephants have hair all over their bodies.
- The elephant is pregnant for an average of 22 months.
- Males generally leave the herd between the age of 12 to 15.
- Asian elephants are an endangered species.
- An elephant has 24 teeth but can use only two at a time.
- On average, elephants weigh 200 – 300 pounds at birth.
- Elephants are incredibly loyal and have been known to remember people they have met years before.
- The wrinkles on the elephant’s skin help it maintain its body temperature.
- African elephants have large ears shaped like the continent of Africa!
- The female group is mostly led by the oldest female.
- Female elephants leave rounded footprints while male elephants tend to have oval shaped footprints.
- Elephants have eyelashes.
- Footprints can also be used to determine the animals’ age.
- Elephants are vegetarians.
- Elephant tusks never stop growing, so enormous tusks can be a sign of an old elephant.
- The shape of the elephant’s footprint indicates the gender of the elephant.
- Elephants have a slow pulse of 27 pulses per minute while a canary has 1000!
- The intestines of an elephant may be 19 meters in length, or more than 60 feet long.
- Elephants have been known to learn more than 60 commands.
- Elephant’s toes are not visible because they are hidden inside their feet with only toenails visible on the outside.
- Elephants communicate with vibrations through their feet.
- Elephants also possess an impressive memory, often remembering watering holes and even other relatives and friends from many years before.
- These magnificent mammals spend between 12 to 18 hours eating grass, plants, and fruit every single day!
- African elephants have 3 toes on their back feet whereas Asian elephants have 4 toes.
- Each elephant creates about one ton of poop per week, which keeps the soil fertile and disperses tree seeds.
- Elephants also dig waterholes and create footpaths, literally changing the landscape around them!
- Normal daily water consumption is about 25 – 50 gallons per animal or 100 – 200 liters.
- African elephants have 4 toes on their front feet while Asian elephants have 5 toes.
- An elephant’s tooth can weigh as much as three kilograms.
Do you have even more interesting facts about elephants? Share them with us in the comments! Also, don’t forget to grab your free elephant fact cards to add to your collection!
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