Fascinating facts about elephants that you never heard of

By Stef Zisovska
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Fascinating facts about elephants that you never heard of

Stef Zisovska
 
 
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The elephant is the world’s largest land animal. There are only two types, the African and the Asian elephant. They are herbivorous, although by their massive appearance you would think they eat tons of food high in calories. The word elephant comes from the Greek word elephas which means ivory. Elephants are gentle giants and won’t harm other animals unless they are being attacked. Caring parents, protective of the herd, and never aggressive as long as people leave them alone in their natural habitat.

Elephants love water

These giants love to swim and play around in the water
These giants love to swim and play around in the water

These giants love to swim and play around in the water. The swimming relieves their joints and helps them to relax for a while by taking off the weight they have to carry when on land. They also love to be around water to cool their bodies.

Elephants don’t get drunk on marula fruit

There is a myth that African elephants get drunk by eating the fermented marula fruit. First of all, they don’t eat the fruit off the ground and even if they did, they would need around 1500 fruits to get drunk.

400-pound trunk

An Elephant’s trunk weighs 400-pounds, but it’s very elastic and dexterous, and it can pick up the tiniest of objects.

Elephant females have only one baby at a time

Mama elephant with her baby
Mama elephant with her baby

An elephant female can have babies until its 50 years of age, but it’s nearly always one baby. Sometimes they do have twins, but it’s a rare occurrence. Each female has a baby every two-and-a-half to four years.

Newborns weigh 260 pounds

Can you imagine a 260-pound elephant baby compared to 7-pound human newborn? That’s quite a difference, eh? Baby elephants are born blind, but they can stand up shortly after birth. They are inseparable from their mothers for a long time.

War animals

These naturally peaceful creatures were used and abused for military purposes in ancient times, and they are still used for work. Knowing that it is very hard and dangerous to work with bulls, people take advantage of the good nature of the elephants and they use them for all kinds of work, entertainment, and tourism activities.

Longevity

Elephants live long
Elephants live long

The average lifespan for an elephant in the wild is about 50 to 70 years. The oldest elephant ever was Lin Wang, an Asian elephant, who died on February 2003 at the age of 86.

The trumpet sound can travel up to 6 miles

Elephants make all kinds of sounds but the most common is the trumpet sound that they produce when they’re excited or aggressive. They can hear each other over a 6 mile distance.

Elephants can’t jump

They are so heavy that they can’t have all four legs off the ground at the same time. This means they can’t jump, trot, or gallop. On the other hand, elephants can walk forwards and backward, which not all  animals can do. If you are an elephant lover, visit Asia or Africa and see your favorite animal in its natural home.

Elephants are capable of human-like emotions

Believe it or not, elephants feel joy and sorrow just as we do. If someone close to them dies they mourn, sometimes for years, after the death. They become connected to people just as they love their elephant relatives.

Touching is important

Elephants touching trunks
Elephants touching trunks

Elephants touch each other with their trunk as a sign of trust, confidence, and closeness. Sometimes the older elephants use their trunks to punish the young ones and teach them good manners.

Elephants are not scared of mice

This one is more of a cartoon-type myth, and of course, it’s not true. They are scared of bees and ants though. African farmers line the borders of their fields with beehives to protect their products from the elephants.

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