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Curious Facts About Elephants

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These mammals can spend 16 hours eating and are capable of eating an average of 220 kilograms of food per day. This isn't surprising when you consider that they weigh seven tonnes.
Curious Facts About Elephants
Last update: 23 November, 2018

The elephant, despite being an enormous animal, appears to be gentle and doesn’t try to scare people.  Most people know that these animals are tame and approachable, which is why they’re very popular animals. Continue reading if you would like to know some curious facts about elephants?

Some curious facts about elephants

Their ears

Did you know that elephants use their ears to regulate their body temperatures? Due to having such a slow metabolism and they’re enormous size, it’s hard for them to keep cool, especially because they live in very hot climates. So, they use their ears to help keep themselves cool.

African elephants also use their ears as a threat. They’re bigger than other species of elephant and they can move them with ease to scare away potential predators.

Their ears are unique

An elephant’s ears are unique to each individual. No two elephants will have the same ears. They have different markings on their ears just like humans do with their fingerprints.

They always move in herds

You’ll never see an elephant on their own. They live, walk, emigrate, and eat in herds. In fact, when the elephant is a baby, the herd surrounds them as a way to provide them protection. If the mother dies, other members of the herd will be ready to take care of them.

They sleep standing up

Adult elephants sleep standing up. This is a way of protecting themselves from predators. If they slept lying down, they could be mauled just trying to lift themselves up from the ground.

However, when baby elephants sleep, they’re always surrounded by adults.

They bathe in mud

While you may have seen many reports, photos, and accounts of elephants bathing in rivers and lakes, they also often bathe in mud. This is because it’s cooler and helps get rid of parasites.

Their weight

The African elephant is the largest known pachyderm and can reach a body weight of seven tonnes. Can you imagine an encounter with one of these animals? There is even one known case of an elephant weighing 11 tonnes.

Divided herds

When a male elephant reaches the age of 12 years old, he abandons the herd. This means that in the herds there are only females and the young. The males can meet in pairs or groups of three and fight to win a female.

Constant eating

If it surprised you to know that a koala spends 22 hours sleeping, how would you feel to know that an elephant spends 16 hours eating? No mother elephant has to tell her child to “eat all of their greens to grow up big and strong”. In fact, it’s estimated that an elephant can eat on average 220 kilograms of food per day!

Some figure

Their sound

Nope, elephants aren’t mute. They make a trumpeting sound.

Their trunk

You probably already know that the main use for their trunks is to drink water. However, it’s much more useful than just that. They also use it to scratch their eyes, ears, and to grab and throw things.

Dwarf elephant

They say that animals have been constantly evolving. We don’t know if that’s true or not, but there is evidence of a species of elephants that are the size of a pigwhich dated back from prehistoric times.


An elephant can live for up to 70 years, however, the oldest elephant ever recorded was 82 years old.


An elephant pregnancy lasts 22 months, the longest gestation period of all animals on earth!


Many people may be wondering about what elephants eat. Their diet is based on grasses and tree bark.

Hopefully, after reading these curious facts about elephants, you may develop a liking towards these amazing animals.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.