Interesting Facts About Elephants

Elephants are the biggest animals on earth. Their huge size normally makes them easily noticeable and amazes many people. There are some things which make elephants very unique. Read on to discover more about the elephant.

  1. An Elephant Never Forgets
Elephants and People. Gutuni Lodge. Tsavo East National Park.
Elephants and People. Gutuni Lodge. Tsavo East National Park.

An elephant has an exemplary brain which enables it to recall something even after a long time. This is very essential for the elephants as they can easily get their food by recalling the location. Elephants can easily remember even if someone harms them.

An elephant’s brain is said to be about 11 pounds. However, it’s not the weight that makes the elephant so intelligent. Its structure tends to be similar to that of a human. Elephants can also be very emotional at times especially if they note that one of them is hurt or has died. That’s why you will find the elephants helping if one of them is stuck somewhere. There are elephants which have been seen also helping humans.

  1. An Elephant Goes Through Six Sets Of Molars In A Lifetime
 Elephant With Mouth Open
Elephant With Mouth Open

Elephants have a total of 26 teeth. An elephant’s tusks are normally the incisors and are two. Apart from the incisors, an elephant has 12 premolars and 12 molars. In the whole life of an elephant, its teeth are replaced six times.

When the original teeth of an elephant fall off, the new teeth do not appear as they do in people in a straight manner. Rather, the new teeth grow from the back so that they can push out the old teeth and fall off.

The first set falls when the elephant is 2-3 years old. The second set is when the elephant is 4-6 years old, the third set is when the elephant is 9-15 years old, and the fourth set is when the elephant is 18-28 years old. The fifth set normally falls off when the elephant is in its forties. The sixth and last set normally lasts for the remaining time until the elephant dies.

  1. Elephants Have A Long Gestation Period
Female Elephant with Two Calf's
Female Elephant with Two Calf’s

Of all the living animals on earth, elephants have the longest gestation period. The gestation period of elephants normally lasts for about 640-660 days. This is equivalent to about 95 weeks. An elephant normally gives birth to only one offspring but there can be situations where an elephant gives birth to two at the same time.

The long gestation period gives enough time for the brain development of the calf. At the time of birth, you will see the other elephants surrounding the mother.

  1. Elephants Are The Only Animals With Four Knees

Although there are other animals which have four legs, they usually have at least a pair of legs with knees which normally face backwards. As for the elephants, their knees face forwards. The knees enable the elephant to be stable despite it having a lot of weight. It also makes it easy for elephants to walk through muddy places.

  1. They Use Dirt as Sunscreen
Female Elephant Taking A Mud Bath
Female Elephant Taking A Mud Bath

Elephants tend to have sunburns when their skins are exposed to sunlight for a long time. Apart from the sun’s ultraviolet light, the elephant’s skin is also prone to insect bites which also tend to affect it severely. To counteract this effect the elephants cover their skins with mud which tends to protect their skins from the sun’s radiation. At times you will see the elephants rolling themselves in dusty places or even splashing water onto their bodies. They do all these to prevent damage to their skins. It also helps to keep insects which might harm them. 

  1. Elephants Can Hear Through Their Feet
Elephant, <a href=Serengeti.” class=”wp-image-3174″ />
Elephant, Serengeti.

As we said earlier on, elephants are very unique animals. Elephants can communicate through sound vibrations which travel through the ground. This ability is normally common in rodents only but after doing research it was found that elephants also have the same. To achieve this you will see an elephant moving its body slightly forward and putting its weight on the front knees. You may also notice it lifting its legs slowly all to detect the vibration.

The vibrations created by the elephants can travel for a long distance of even 20 miles. This means that although the elephants may seem to be a huge distance apart they may still be sending messages to each other. They can easily alert each other in case of any danger. The vibrations traveling through the ground move at a faster speed than they would in the air. This is due to the huge weight of the elephant that propels them to move faster. The speed of the waves also depends on the soil type of the area.

  1. Elephants Honor Their Dead
Elephants Morning a Dead Elephant
Elephants Morning a Dead Elephant

The elephant’s high level of intelligence also makes them emotional. When an elephant dies the other elephants can react by sniffing or even touching the deceased one. The other elephants stay close to the deceased elephant and may even opt to sleep there. If they notice any stranger trying to go close to the dead elephant, they will act very violently. At times, the other elephants will try to lift the dead elephants and take them to a safer place.

When an elephant notices that its baby has died, the mother will result in kicking the baby severally, probably to see if it can get up. It has been seen the mother elephants carrying their dead babies with their tusks for a long time as they do not want to let them go.

  1. Elephants Are The Only Mammals That Can’t Jump

Despite being able to run at a relatively high speed, they are not able to jump. At all costs, they must keep one of their legs to the ground even if they are running. This is due to their huge weight hence they need to constantly maintain their stability.

You will find that the other mammals have lengthy and also strong hind legs which enable them to jump easily. However, the elephants have short hind legs and their muscles are not strong enough to enable them to jump.

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