- Elephants are the largest land animals in the world.
- Their unique trunk acts as part nose, part hand to assist in breathing, detecting odors, manipulating objects, social interactions, eating, dust bathing, drawing-up water and releasing water into the mouth.
- Elephants have the longest gestation of any land animal of 21.5 months.
- Elephants have the largest brain of any land animals.
- Elephants are long lived. Studies have shown that life expectancy at birth in African elephants is 41 years for females and 24 years for males. Maximum lifespan for females is over 65 years, and for males it is close to 60 years. Elephants’ developmental rate is similar to humans.
- There are currently two recognized species of elephants, the Asian elephant and theAfrican elephant. Recent genetic research indicates that the forest elephant, currently considered a subspecies of the African elephant, may actually be a separate and distinct species.
- In general, older, experienced females lead elephant families (matriarchal herds). Female herd members are usually related, but occasionally non-related individuals join to form families.
- Female family members often stay together for their entire lives.
Elephants produce and hear vocalizations below the range of human hearing (infrasonic). These low frequency calls can travel several miles and may be used to coordinate their movements. Females may also use these calls to announce their willingness to breed.
Share this post