Amongst the most adorable animals seen in the wild are elephants. Massive creatures, they belong to the Proboscidea
order and Elephantidae
family. Elephants can be classified into two basic species, namely the African elephant and the Asian elephant, which can be further classified into various sub species. Elephants are seen dwelling mainly in Asia and Africa, in scrub forests with enough supply of food, water and shade. If you want to know more about elephants, read on. An elephant uses its trunk for many purposes including bathing, breaking branches off a tree, caressing their young ones and so on. Elephants can survive in any habitat where there is enough water and food. When threatened, these animals make loud trumpeting sounds and use their trunks as a weapon. These animals also use their trunks for sun-bathing to protect themselves from the sun’s rays. Given below are some interesting facts and amazing information on the majestic animal.
Facts about Elephants
Bionomial Name: Elephas maximus indicus
Height: 7 - 12 feet (Asian)
Up to 12 feet (African)
Weight: 3000 - 5000 kg (Asian)
5500 - 6000 kg (African)
Age: 60 years to 80 years
Maximum Speed: 25 mph
Vision: 30 ft to 60 ft
Length of Tusks: Up to 5 ft (Asian)
5 - 8 feet (African)
Natural Habitat: Scrub forests, with abundant food supply and shady areas (mainly Asia and Africa)
Diet: Grasses, along with leaves, bamboo, twigs, bark, roots and small amounts of fruits, seeds and flowers
Age of Maturity: 12 years
Gestation Period: 630 days - 660 days
Number of Offspring: One
Interesting and Amazing Information on Elephants
- Elephant is presently the largest animal that lives on land.
- Elephants live in groups known as herds and a single herd usually consists of ten female elephants and their young ones.
- Elephant herds are matriarchal in nature i.e. they are headed by a female, usually the oldest and largest female of the group.
- When elephants travel, they walk very quietly behind each other and that too in a single line.
- Elephants love water and they are very excellent swimmers.
- Elephants can make very low frequency sounds, which are below the human range of hearing.
- Elephants sleep standing up and stomp when they walk.
- An elephant poops around 80 pounds in one day.
- Elephants suck up water into their trunks and shoot it into their mouths, while drinking.
- Elephants cool off themselves by fanning their ears. Fanning cools the blood in their ears and when this blood goes to the rest of their body, it also gets cooled.
- Most elephants in Sri Lanka, whether they are male or female, have no tusks.
- The trunk of an elephant has no bones. It has approximately 150,000 muscles and nerves, which provide flexibility.
- The tusks of an elephant continue to grow throughout its life.
- Elephants can take up to 18 quarts of water into their trunks at one time.
- Elephants often rest by raising one foot and crossing it behind another.
- Elephants are known to have a very sharp memory.
- An elephant’s brain weighs about 12 pounds, which is the biggest brain among all the terrestrial animals.
- Asian elephants and African elephants are the only surviving proboscidae species and originated in Africa.
- Elephants have a preferred tusk, which means that either the right or left tusk is used as a tool. After a tooth has worn out, another tooth grows in its place.
- These fascinating creatures show their concern for the weak or wounded elephants and have been known for displaying their grief for their dead ones as well.
- The female elephant takes good care of their young and even orphaned young elephants are mothered by other female elephants.
- An elephant performs many activities in a day including bathing, eating, dusting, drinking, playing and resting.
- Even though elephant have enormous ears, they have poor hearing abilities.
- Elephants are the only animals that can’t jump.
- These gigantic animals have excellent sense of smell as they can smell water even from a distance of three miles.