Interesting animal facts about elephants

Interesting Animal Facts About Elephants

Spread the love

Last Updated on December 27, 2021 by

Elephants are fascinating animals. They have a certain mystique about them that makes them one of the most memorable and yet elusive creatures in the animal kingdom.

They are so rarely seen in the Western world in person outside of a zoo that it is hard to impress upon people in Europe and America how amazing these animals are in person.

They are, sadly, like many species, endangered. But Elephants are hardy and resilient creatures and we as humans must do all we can to protect them. However, how can we ensure that we protect them and encourage others to protect them?

Simply put by learning some amazing facts about them and sharing them! The more facts people know about elephants the more likely they are to care about them and ensure that they stay around for a long time to come.

So if you want to find out some interesting animal facts about elephants, then you’ve come to the right place!

Fact 1: It’s True That Elephants Can’t Jump

You might have heard this fact before in passing and not have been sure whether it was true or not. Surely, you might think, even with their great size, elephants can actually jump?

Well, you’d be wrong! Unlike pretty much every mammal on the planet, Elephants cannot in fact jump. Why is it that elephants can’t jump?

The answer isn’t too complicated. The reason that elephants can’t jump is that they have never, evolutionary, needed to. You see most animals that can jump really high do so because they have to in order to get away from predators.

However, the elephant’s large size means that it has never needed to do this and in fact even if an elephant wanted to it wouldn’t be able to.

You see in most mammals the leg bones are pointed upwards whereas in the elephant they are pointed downwards meaning that their legs quite literally can’t spring up in order to jump!

Fact 2: You Can Tell Where An Elephant Comes From By Its Ears

This may seem like a very strange thing to say but you can tell which continent an elephant comes from by its ears.

In the same way that the joke goes saying you can wash your hands in a bison but not in a buffalo, elephants can be distinguished by a physical characteristic.

This is because elephants from Africa have much larger ears and their ears are usually shaped like an outline of the African continent whereas the Indian elephant has much smaller ears that more closely resemble the India subcontinent.

This means that if you ever see an elephant and you aren’t sure where it is originally from, just look at its ears and they will give away the truth as to where it has come from!

Fact 3: Elephants really can remember everything!

interesting animal facts about elephants

There’s an old saying that goes an elephant never forgets. Whilst you may have dismissed it as an old wives tale, this one has some scientific fact to it.

Whilst humans and other mammals have a tendency to forget things every so often, elephants are unlikely to make the same kind of memory mistakes. This is thanks to the elephant’s brain. As we’ve already touched upon, elephants are massive creatures – they are in fact the largest land mammal on the planet – and so they have massive brains too.

This means that their temporal lobe is larger than most other animals. The temporal lobe is the part of the brain in which all our memories are stored and thanks to the size of the elephant’s temporal lobe it can remember people and places years after it has left them!

Elephants truly do never forget.

Fact 4: They have incredible reflexes even from birth!

Elephants are known for their amazing reflexes, but did you know that they have them from birth?

Whilst it might seem incredible to us given that after birth, we take years to reach our full potential baby elephants can be up and doing all these things you would expect of an elephant from very soon after birth.

In fact, elephants can be up and lively only twenty minutes after birth. This is truly incredible considering how long human children take to become as active as their adult counterparts. Fascinatingly enough this isn’t the only thing that is amazing about elephants’ reflexes.

Elephants also can-do incredible things with their trunks. An elephant’s trunk is very much like any other appendage, but it is even more special because of how sensitive it is. This is because an elephant’s trunk has around 150,000 muscle units in their trunk. This means that an elephant’s trunk is incredibly powerful.

However, an elephant’s trunk can also be amazingly subtle. Elephants may be able to hit quite hard with their trunks, but they can equally be gentle with them, using them to unpeel nuts before popping them in their mouth.

This is because of how sensitive the trunk is and how amazing the elephant’s reflexes are. One moment the trunk can be doing quite delicate and intricate like drinking water, the next moment it can be tearing a tree up by its roots!

This is why, despite the amount of poaching that has sadly gone on and impacted the elephant population worldwide, elephants are still found in Africa and India because of their amazing reflexes. They have helped elephants survive for thousands of years.

Fact 5: Their Tusks Can Become Great Tools

interesting animal facts

It isn’t just the elephant’s trunk that can do incredible things, the elephant’s tusks are amazingly remarkable as well. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the elephant’s tusks are actually very large teeth rather than being separate!

However, elephants don’t usually use their tusks for eating. This is because the tusks are so large and jut out of the elephant’s mouth at such an angle that it would be very hard to use them like that. Rather, elephants use their tusks as tools for all kinds of amazing activities.

They are mainly used by male elephants for fighting. Male elephants are called bull elephants because, like bulls, they have very bad tempers. The bull elephant’s temper can often result in it locking horns with other male bull elephants which is why the elephant’s tusk comes in handy.

Like rampaging deer, the elephant can easily do battle with its counterpart. Fights are often over territory, resources, or mates.

Yet the uses for an elephant’s tusks aren’t just limited to fighting. They can also be used very well during times of hardship. Elephants can, if there is a drought, dig up the roots of trees and open them in order to get liquid from the ground.

Similarly, elephant’s tusks can be used, in all things for mining. A tribe of elephants in South Africa has been found to have been engaging in salt mining! Apparently, the group of elephants rather like the taste of the salt and use their tusks to dig in the caves in order to extract the salt.

Once they have managed to expose the salt, they then begin to eat it with their trunks! This truly demonstrates just how incredible elephants are.

Fact 6: Elephants have had a complex history with humans

Elephants are amazing creatures and they have had an equally amazing and complex history with their human admirers. Elephants have recently become the subject of conservation efforts but this hasn’t always been the case.

During ancient times, elephants were more often associated with war than they were either with resources or with saving them. It was the elephants of the people of India that forced Alexander the Great to consider whether he should limit the extent of his empire and not go further into the Indian subcontinent.

The African Elephant similarly has an ancient association with war. It was the elephants of North Africa that helped carry the Carthaginian general Hannibal from Spain across the Alps and into Italy in order to fight the Roman Republic who were rivals of Carthage and wanted to destroy the Carthaginian empire.

Although Hannibal was eventually defeated by the Romans, his association with the elephant has lived on partly because of how shocking it was for the Roman troops to face hoards of war elephants in the middle of Western Europe.

The Romans themselves used elephants often for sport during their games. The Roman appetite for such games often drove many species extinct including the poor North African elephant.

Humans have since then attempted to use elephants for their body parts and attempt to have them as figures of fun in circuses. Thankfully, human beings’ relationship with elephants has become better over the subsequent centuries and we are at last now recognizing that we must do all we can to protect elephants from being attacked by other human beings.

Final Thoughts

Elephants are truly amazing animals. They have the ability to conjure up incredible images in our minds and to give us a feeling of wonder and majesty that few other animals can.

This is why we need to spread awareness about them. Because there are still people out there who sadly view elephants as nothing more than a natural resource, as a means of getting money for their body parts or for the elephants as a whole.

This is why we must do all we can to spread awareness about them – so that those misguided people can have their minds changed and we can do all we can to save these incredible creatures for future generations.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *