15 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Elephants

15 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Elephants

Elephant

Photo by Jon Mountjoy

The world’s population of these amazing animals has been drastically decreasing because of various reasons, such as poaching or habitat destruction. The people of the future will only remember elephants as the dinosaurs of the 21st century if this dark scenario continues. It is up to save them. To do this we have to start with education and knowledge, so in light of that here are 15 things you didn’t know about elephants.

  1. They are bad jumpers. Elephants are the only mammals that cannot jump. They can swim and gallop. Then again, they don’t really need to because when they stand on their back legs their really long trunks can reach objects up to 23 feet away. Plus, just imagine, if elephants could jump with a weight of 6 to 7 tons, they would for sure create quite an earthquake.
  2. They are always in the move. Elephants spend minimum 20 hours daily in roaming around in search of food or socialization.
  3. Elephants really do have excellent memory and are able to pass information one to another. Elephants, like dolphins, great apes, and magpies, can recognize their reflections in a mirror.
  4. They’re herbivores and can eat more than 300 pound of food a day. They spend up to 16 hours a day eating plants and trees.
  5. Elephants have their own language. They use a complex language and physical gestures in a way of communication between the members of the herd. For instance, when they kneel in front of each other that means an invitation to play.
  6. Elephants can smell water. Smell water? It may sound weird but elephants have been proven to smell water from even several miles away. It is very useful talent in the savanna, where can be a lack of water most of the year. Elephants have three nostrils and when they raise their trunks, they gather all the scent particles from the air.
  7. Elephants prefer one tusk to the other in the same way that humans are either right or left handed.
  8. Elephants have many human characteristics. They mourn over the bodies of dead family members, they have “greeting ceremonies” when meeting old friend, and they “hug” by wrapping their trunks together affectionately.
  9. Elephants’ feet are made for more than just walking and they can also use them to listen by picking up sub-sonic rumblings in the ground.
  10. Despite their close resemblance and similarities, the Asian elephant is more related to the mammoth than to African elephants.
  11. Elephants have sharp memories, as they are able to recognize an individual even after not seeing them for years.
  12. An Elephant can live more than 60 years, and the oldest elephant ever recorded lived for 82 years.
  13. Most of male elephants choose to live solitary lives, while female elephants live in herds.
  14. An Elephant trunk has about 45000 muscles. It is highly sensitive organ that can pick up a single blade of grass, and also strong enough to rip the tree branches. An elephant’s trunk is also able to detect the shape, size, and temperature of an object.
  15. During its childhood and adulthood an elephant has the same physical proportion, while human body does not maintain equal physical proportion during all stages of its growth.

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana), Dallas ZooPhoto by _somaholiday