40 interesting facts about elephants

To this day, elephants never cease to amaze scientists with their intelligence. Size doesn’t always go hand in hand with thinking ability, but these amazing animals are really smart. In addition, they are not alien to emotions – elephants have their likes and dislikes, just like people.

Interesting facts about elephants

  1. These are the largest land animals on earth.
  2. Extinct mammoths were the closest biological relatives of elephants.
  3. They are also the only mammals that have a trunk.
  4. Elephant tusks grow throughout their lives.
  5. In Thailand, the elephant is revered as a sacred animal. Elephant Day is a public holiday here (interesting facts about Thailand).
  6. Hunting these animals is illegal in all countries of the world. However, some primitive tribes in Africa hunt elephants for food.
  7. International law prohibits the trade in ivory (tusks) to reduce the attractiveness of hunting for them among poachers.
  8. Elephants have subtle musical cases, they are able to distinguish melodies and notes.
  9. They live in herds, but at the same time they have a division into herds of males and females.
  10. During the greeting, the elephants intertwine their trunks.
  11. They communicate not only with the help of sounds, but also with the help of seismic vibrations, kicking the ground with their feet. This method of communication is effective at a distance of up to 30 kilometers.
  12. Along with dolphins and some species of monkeys, elephants identify with their reflection in the mirror.
  13. They have excellent memories. An elephant can take revenge on the person who tormented him, after a dozen years, or even more.
  14. When one of the elephant herds dies, the rest give him a funeral and are visibly grieving. At the same time, there were many cases when elephants tried to bury dead people.
  15. During the day, an adult elephant drinks from 100 to 300 liters of water, depending on the air temperature.
  16. In the wild, they also eat up to 300 kg of leaves and grass per day.
  17. In India, elephants were once used as fighting animals (interesting facts about India).
  18. African elephants, unlike Indian elephants, are almost impossible to tame.
  19. In 2006, a wild elephant, nicknamed Osama bin Laden, was destroyed in India, which regularly attacked villages. In a few years, he destroyed more than 100 houses and killed 27 people. To eliminate it, local authorities attracted a military detachment and professional foresters.
  20. A newborn baby elephant weighs about 120 kg.
  21. The hearts of these giants beat very slowly, making about 30 contractions per minute.
  22. The elephant brain weighs about 5 kg, and the heart – from 20 to 30 kg.
  23. The official record for an elephant’s lifespan is 86 years. On average, they live 60-70 years.
  24. There are about 40,000 olfactory receptors on an elephant’s trunk.
  25. Like humans, elephants are divided into right-handers and left-handers.
  26. The average length of an elephant tusk has halved over the last 2 centuries. This is due to the fact that the length of the tusk is a genetically inherited trait, and elephants with large tusks are more likely to become victims of poachers.
  27. In total, about half a million African elephants now live in the world, and 10-12 times fewer Asian ones.
  28. Elephant pregnancy is the longest among all living creatures, it lasts as much as 22 months, that is, almost two years.
  29. Elephant teeth are renewed 6-7 times during their life, as they gradually wear out from the constant grinding of hard leaves. When the last set of teeth wears off, the lone elephant starves to death. Some survive if the rest of the herd feeds them.
  30. The elephant’s ear can be up to 4 meters wide.
  31. Baby elephants first grow milk tusks, and then they are replaced by indigenous ones. Just like human teeth.
  32. Large ears help elephants remove excess heat from the body.
  33. These animals have 5 toes on their feet.
  34. The thickness of the skin of an adult elephant reaches 3-4 centimeters.
  35. African elephants sleep standing up like horses.
  36. The weight of the trunk of an adult animal reaches 130-140 kg.
  37. They swim great. The case was officially confirmed when an elephant swam across a strait 70 kilometers wide.
  38. They sleep an average of 4 hours a day, and devote the rest of the time to the search for food.
  39. Elephants are the only land mammals that cannot jump.
  40. Contrary to popular myth, they are not afraid of mice. But the bees – very much so.
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