The most interesting and unusual facts about elephants


Elephants are considered the largest land representatives of the fauna. But it is not only their size and power that is striking: these animals are extremely intelligent and sociable. They take care of their families, and their life is governed by many social laws and regulations. These herbivorous giants, combining incredible strength and tenderness, are able to preserve the memory of long-dead relatives and mourn the loss of loved ones. Want to know even more interesting facts about elephants? Then read this article.

1. Elephants are the only living representatives of the mammal group, which once included the extinct American mastodon and mammoth. Manatees and damans are also considered to be relatives of elephants, since they have common ancestors, and manatees are good-natured sea giants, and damans are funny, clumsy animals the size of a cat.

2. Currently, elephants are divided into African and Asian, outwardly different from each other. DNA studies have shown that African elephants are represented by two species: the giants inhabiting the forests, and their relatives living in savannas. Thus, the total number of species of living elephants is three, while earlier, more than 12 thousand years ago, there were about 40 species.

3. Elephants - herbivores, their diet includes herbs, tree bark, leaves and fruit. Every day for a meal, they can spend about 18 hours. Well, since only 40 percent of the food consumed gives the animal the necessary sense of fullness, the rations should be sufficient to meet the needs of its body. An adult animal usually eats about 180 kilograms of food per day and drinks 100–180 liters of water. To quench their thirst, elephants sometimes have to travel many miles.

4. Elephants use their impressive ears as a fan, and even their ears help scare off intrusive insects, express emotions and look more impressive in the eyes of the enemy.

5. Males and females have tusks, but not all species, for example, tusks do not have females of Indian elephants. Tusks are modified teeth that grow throughout the life of the animal. With the help of tusks, animals carry various objects, tear off bark from trees, clear paths, dig up roots from the ground, and fight with enemies. The average length of the tusks has decreased significantly over the past few hundred years. And the fault of all - poachers who destroyed elephants with large tusks (the length of the tusks is inherited).

6. “Like an elephant in a china shop” - they often talk about a clumsy, awkward person. However, the elephant itself is not at all clumsy. He has a well-developed sense of touch, even the giant's foot is so sensitive that he can feel the coin on a flat surface. Being in an enclosed space, the animal feels good about the surrounding objects and behaves cautiously, but if he is angry, he will really destroy everything around.

7. The trunk of an elephant is an amazing organ that is a continuation of the upper lip and nose of the animal. The trunk gives its owner a delicate sense of smell. And with the help of a trunk, elephants eat, take various objects, greet friends, frighten off enemies, etc. With its trunk a giant can lift from the ground any object from a log to a match. The trunk has tens of thousands of muscles, while in the human body there are less than 650! It allows you to arrange a dusty or water shower (the trunk can hold up to eight liters of water). It is also a great periscope that helps an elephant breathe when it is under water. Elephants suck their trunk for comfort just as small children suck a nipple. In order not to lose the mother, the young often cling to her tail with the trunk.

8. A female elephant is able to conceive only for a few days a year. The gestation period is the longest among all mammals (22 months for the African elephant, 21 months for the Indian elephant). The weight of a newborn baby elephant can reach 120 kilograms!

9. Elephants live in families consisting of females from several generations and youngsters of different ages. Females stay with their clan all their life, while males, reaching 12-17 years, as a rule, begin an independent life. The family is headed by a matriarch elephant. Her responsibilities include regulating the lifestyle of her relatives, maintaining cohesion, and concern for security. The matriarch makes decisions in extreme situations, for example, when it is necessary to attack the enemy, and when, on the contrary, to flee. She teaches young mothers elephant how to take care of the cub, and also prepares her successor, which in the future will lead the family clan. Leaders change only due to the death of the matriarch.

10. Elephants communicate with each other with the help of touches and various sounds - grunts, growls, growls, whistles. And they can make sounds at such a low frequency that the human ear does not catch them. The animals themselves are able to distinguish low-frequency sounds at a distance of more than eight kilometers.

11. Elephants have an amazing memory that allows them to remember the grievances caused by people, as well as the location of important events. They do not forget their relatives even decades later after separation. When meeting, they often form a circle, raising their heads high, flapping their ears and blowing loudly.

12. Elephants are emotionally highly developed. Joy, sadness, empathy for loved ones, anger - all this is not alien to these giants. Scientists also tend to believe that animals can experience joy when they encounter a relative, give birth to a cub in a clan, and also mourn the dead. For example, females inside the clan together celebrate the birth of a baby - they trumpet and stomp their feet. Or alternately on duty, shielding a wounded baby elephant from the scorching sun and surrounding it with a tight ring if a predator appears somewhere nearby. Elephants express the most reverent and tender feelings through kisses and hugs. They can even smile. In addition, they bury their dead relatives — they throw leaves, branches and earth on their remains, trying to completely close them. Eyewitnesses indicate that elephants visit the graves of their loved ones for many years.

13. Elephants play an extremely important role in the wild. These herbivorous giants help maintain biodiversity in their habitats. They are able to carry the seeds of plants to a distance of 65 km, which makes them record holders among land animals in this regard. Scientists believe that if elephants disappear from the face of the earth, it will be a disaster for many species of animals and plants.

This is not all interesting facts about elephants. Below are a few more features from the life of these animals:

  • Elephants do not sweat: their sebaceous glands are simply absent. They are helped to cool by peculiar thermostats - big ears,
  • in order to protect from the scorching sun, insect bites and fluid loss, the giants take mud baths,
  • Elephants swim well, but they are not able to run at a gallop. In addition, this is the only animal that can not jump,
  • the teeth of elephants change 6-7 times during life,
  • September 22 is World Elephant Protection Day,
  • The age of an elephant in the wild under favorable conditions is 60-70 years.

Taming elephants

Elephants animals, though clever, can be dangerous. Male elephants periodically pass through the state of the so-called "must". At this time, the level of testosterone in the blood of animals is 60 times higher than normal.

In order to achieve equilibrium and humility among elephants, they begin to be trained from early childhood.

One of the most effective methods is this: the elephant's leg is tied to a tree trunk. Gradually, he becomes accustomed to the fact that it is impossible to free oneself from this state. When an animal grows up, it is enough to tie it to a sapling, and the elephant will not try to free itself.

Funeral rite

Elephants have not only a high level of intelligence, but also sensitive hearts. When someone from the elephant family dies, his relatives lift him with their trunks, loudly turbate them, and then roll them to the groove and cover them with branches and throw them with earth. Then the elephants sit silently by the body for several more days.

There are also cases where elephants also try to bury people, sometimes taking sleeping people for the dead.

How many elephants live

Before answering this question, it is important to determine the conditions in which the elephant lives.

For example, at large, elephants live for about 60 years. But in captivity, they live to 80 years of age.

This is due to the fact that in the wild nature elephants constantly face dangers, natural disasters and poaching.

An interesting fact is that one of the most famous elephants named Lin Wang lived 86 years. Because of this, he got into the Guinness Book of Records, like an elephant who has lived in captivity for the greatest number of years.

Lin Wang participated in hostilities and performed at the circus arena, but spent most of his life at the zoo.

Elephant's pregnancy

Interesting facts related to the pregnancy of elephants are very popular, so let's look at the main points of this issue.

First of all, I must say that the elephant can become pregnant only on certain days of the year, although they can mate at any time. An elephant's pregnancy lasts longer than that of all land mammals, and is as long as 22 months.

A newborn baby elephant weighs about 100 kg and is born absolutely blind to the world. The next 10 years of his life, he is still considered small, and needs constant protection.

Only by reaching the age of 15, elephants can live on their own and create their own families.

In light of the above, we recommend reading the article "How much weighs an elephant".

What do elephants eat

As a rule, elephants eat leaves and grass. However, during the season of drought and rain, fruits, berries, and even the bark of trees can become food for them.

Under natural conditions, these giants eat about 300 kg of vegetation daily. It takes about 16 hours a day to find and eat elephants.

However, in captivity, they eat twice, and sometimes three times less. Elephants enjoy eating vegetables, bread, and even cereals with pleasure.

Elephants, for the normal functioning of the body, need a lot of fluid, so they drink 100-300 liters of water a day.

When they get sick, they drink more.

Trunk, tusks and ears

Below are interesting facts about the most visible parts of the body of elephants.

  • The trunk of an elephant does not have a nasal bone.
  • Due to the fact that the trunk of an elephant consists of 150,000 different muscles, it has extremely high flexibility and strength.
  • At a time, an elephant can collect 6-8 liters of water with its trunk in order to pour it into its mouth.
  • The elephant easily lifts up to 300 kg with its trunk.
  • The length of the trunk is approximately 1.5 meters.
  • Thanks to the trunk, the elephants can easily and easily cross the river. To do this, they are completely immersed in water, and the trunk is held high above the surface.
  • If the elephants have to dig something or carry heavy objects, they, in addition to the trunk, also use tusks. The length of the tusks is from 2 to 2.5 m, with a weight of about 100 kg.
  • The elephant's ear weighs 80-90 kg, and is an excellent thermostat for this animal. In the hottest time of the day, the elephants swing their ears around, thus avoiding overheating. In cold weather, on the contrary, they try to press their ears to their bodies in order to keep warm longer.

Are elephants afraid of mice?

An interesting fact is that there is a persistent view that elephants are afraid of mice. The legend says that the elephant is afraid, as if the mouse did not climb into his trunk, and did not violate the main processes of life.

For the first time, a similar statement was made by the Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder. However, modern scientists have completely dispelled this myth.

In fact, the elephants are simply annoyed by any sudden movements near them. That is, if the mouse were sitting in the same place, it would in no way disturb the elephant.

Smart animals

Scientists have proven that elephants have an extremely developed self-awareness and extremely good memory. Moreover, they, like dolphins and monkeys, are able to distinguish their reflection in the mirror.

As for the memory, it is impossible not to mention one interesting fact. The fact is that elephants accurately memorize the many-kilometer trails along which they walk, and then walk along them for a long time.

Mental abilities of elephants

  • The elephant's brain weighs about 5 kg, which makes it the largest among animals.
  • Elephants are able to experience a variety of emotions. Therefore, joy, sadness and compassion - they all know this well.
  • Elephants are perfectly trainable and can execute many teams of people.
  • Through ultrasound, elephants can warn their kin about various dangers.
  • An interesting fact is that the elephants have their own burial ritual. When one of the members of the herd dies, his tribesmen throw a dead body with earth and stones. After that, they sit for a few more days near the deceased, thus expressing their grief.

Some more interesting facts about elephants

  1. Did you know that the elephant's sense of smell is 4 times better than that of sleeper dogs?
  2. However, the vision of these mammals is much worse. Consider any object an elephant can at a maximum of 25 m. In ancient times, hunters would sit on a tame elephant and penetrate into the middle of the herd in order to look for a victim.
  3. The elephant's heart beats at a speed of 30 beats per minute, and weighs about 25 kg.
  4. Before elephants used in combat purposes. Their formidable and gigantic dimensions terrified the enemy. However, then inventive minds came up with an antidote: they coated pigs with combustible matter, set them on fire, and sent them to elephants. The pig squeal and the mad speed with which the pigs rushed towards the elephants, led the latter into a panic.
  5. Every 10 years, elephants renew teeth.
  6. One by one working tusk can determine whether an elephant is right-handed or left-handed.
  7. Elephants spend only about 3 hours a day sleeping, and spend the rest of the time looking for food.
  8. Males prefer to live alone, while elephants live in families.

We hope you enjoy the interesting facts about elephants. If this is true - be sure to share this article in social networks and pay attention to the most famous elephants.

Elephant Facts

  • These are the largest land animals on earth.
  • The extinct mammoths were the closest relatives of elephants in terms of biology.
  • These are the only mammals that have a trunk.
  • Elephant tusks grow throughout their life.
  • In Thailand, the elephant is honored for the sacred animal. Elephant Day here is a public holiday (facts about Thailand).
  • Hunting these animals is illegal in all countries of the world. However, some primitive tribes in Africa prey on elephants for food.
  • International law prohibits ivory trade (tusks) to reduce the attractiveness of hunting them among poachers.
  • Elephants have subtle musical instances, they can distinguish melodies and notes.
  • They live in herds, but at the same time they have a division into herds of males and females.
  • During the greeting, the elephants are intertwined with their trunks.
  • They communicate not only with the help of sounds, but also with the help of seismic vibrations, kicking their feet into the ground. This way of communicating is effective at a distance of up to 30 kilometers.
  • Along with dolphins and certain species of monkeys, elephants identify themselves with their reflection in the mirror.
  • They have a great memory. An elephant can take revenge on a person who tormented him, a dozen years later, or even more.
  • When someone of their elephant herd dies, the rest of them arrange a funeral and clearly experience grief. There were many cases when elephants tried to bury the dead.
  • During the day, an adult elephant drinks from 100 to 300 liters of water, depending on the air temperature.
  • In the wild, they also eat up to 300 kg of leaves and grass per day.
  • In India, elephants were once used as fighting animals (facts about India).
  • African elephants, unlike Indian ones, are almost not amenable to taming.

  • In 2006, a wild elephant called Osama bin Laden, who regularly attacked villages, was destroyed in India. 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.
  • A newborn baby elephant weighs about 120 kg.
  • The hearts of these giants beat very slowly, making about 30 cuts per minute.
  • The elephant brain weighs about 5 kg, and the heart - from 20 to 30 kg.
  • The officially recorded record for the life of an elephant is 86 years. On average, they live for 60-70 years.
  • On the elephant's trunk there are about 40 thousand olfactory receptors.
  • Like people, elephants are divided into right-handers and left-handers.
  • The average length of an elephant tusk has decreased by 2 times in 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.
  • In total, there are about half a million African elephants in the world, and 10-12 times fewer Asian ones.
  • Беременность у слонов — самая долгая среди всех живых существ, она длится целых 22 месяца, то есть почти два года.
  • Слоновьи зубы в течение жизни обновляются 6-7 раз, так как они постепенно изнашиваются от постоянного перетирания жёстких листьев. Когда последний набор зубов стирается, одинокий слон умирает с голоду. Некоторые выживают, если их кормит остальное стадо.
  • Ширина слоновьего уха может достигать 4 метров.
  • У слонят сперва вырастают молочные бивни, а потом их заменяют коренные. Just like teeth in humans.
  • Big ears help elephants remove heat from their bodies.
  • These animals have 5 toes on their feet.
  • The skin thickness of an adult elephant reaches 3-4 centimeters.
  • African elephants sleep like horses.
  • The weight of the trunk of an adult animal reaches 130-140 kg.
  • They swim great. A case was officially confirmed when an elephant swam across a strait 70 kilometers wide.
  • They sleep on average 4 hours a day, and devote the rest of the time to searching for food.
  • Elephants are the only land mammals that cannot jump.
  • Contrary to popular myth, they are not afraid of mice. But the bees - very much so.
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