1. Elephants are the world’s largest mammal. The African (bush) savannah is the world’s largest with adult males or bulls standing up to 3m high and weighing 6000kg on average. Males only reach their full size at 35-40 years which is half of their lifespan because elephants live up to 60-70 years.
2. There are three species of elephants such as African savannah(bush)African forest, and Asian
3. You can tell the three species apart by their ear. The ears of African elephants are much larger and described as being shaped like the African continent, whereas the ears of Asian elephants are shaped like the Indian subcontinent. There is also a trunk difference- African elephants have two fingers at the tip of their trunks whereas Asians have one.
4. Their trunks have mad skills. Elephants have around 150,000 muscle units in their trunk. Their trunks are said to be the most sensitive organ found in any living mammal. They use their trunks to suck up water. It can contain up to 8littres and it’s the same trunk they use as a snorkel when swimming
5. They’ve got thick skin. Elephant skin is 2.5cm. the folds and wrinkles can retain 10 times more water than flat skins do
6. Elephants are constantly eating. They can spend three-quarters of their day just eating. They eat grasses, leaves, shrubs, fruits, and roots depending on the season and their habitat.
7. They communicate through vibrations. Elephants communicate in a variety of ways including sounds like trumpet calls (some sounds are too low for people to hear) body language, touch, and scent. They also communicate through seismic signals - sounds that create vibrations in the ground – which they may detect through their bones.
8. A baby Elephant can stand within 20 minutes of birth. Amazingly Elephant calves are able to stand within 20 minutes and walk within an hour. After 2 days, they can keep up with the herd
9. An Elephant never forgets. Its temporal lobe (area of the brain associated with memory) is larger and denser than that of people hence the saying Elephants never forget.
10. Around 90% of African elephants have been wiped out in the past century. This was largely due to the ivory trade leaving an estimated number of 415,000 wild elephants alive today.