Elephants are the largest land mammals on earth. The biggest on record, an African elephant, standing at 13 feet at the shoulders and weighing 24.000 lbs.
Surprisingly their closest relative is a small furry mammal called the Rock Hyrax. It lives in Rocky landscapes across sub-Saharan Africa and the coast of the Arabian peninsula.
Elephants are part of a group of non-ruminant mammals called pachyderm including rhinoceros and hippopotamus. All of which have hooves or nails resembling hooves and usually thick skin. They also have the longest gestational period out of any mammal lasting 22 months. They also commonly live in groups of around 15 females led by the matriarch, usually the eldest female.
Males leave the groups between the ages of 12-15 years old, forming their own groups in dry times.
Elephants can live up to 70 years old and are highly social, intelligent creatures. They are incredibly emotional and have been known to express happiness as well as grief. They are self-aware, able to recognize themselves in a "mirror test". They laugh, cry, play and are super affectionate.
They're a compassionate creature who when hearing a baby wine or cry, will rumble and touch it to calm it down
Elephants often "hug", wrapping their trunks around each other. They also have greeting ceremonies after seeing a friend that has been away for a while.
Elephants have also been known to pay homage to the dead, touching skulls and tusks with their own tusks and feet. They also remember spots loved ones have died at. Often stopping dead still and going into a silent, empty pause that can last several minutes.
Elephant skin is 1 inch thick and can get sunburned. They often throw sand on their back and head as a "diy" sunblock.
Older elephants also dose the babies in the sand and block them from the sun with their bodies while they sleep.
Elephants have actually evolved a sixth digit which starts off as cartilage attached to the big toe. As it ages the toe eventually turns into bone giving them six toes on each foot. Its feet are covered in soft padding, dulling any sound, making them walk almost silent. The feet are also slip-resistant and help hold up their massive weight.
Just like humans who are left or right handed, elephants have a preference on which tusks they use the most. The tusks are incisor teeth and are used for defense, lifting objects, and digging for water.
The trunk is made up of about 40,000 muscles. It is able to sense the size, shape, and temperature of an object. They use it to lift food and suck up water, then spray it in its mouth.
A couple of fun facts:
- The heart weighs 27 to 46 lbs
- A calf can weigh up to 230 lbs
- Elephants often "Purr" like a cat to communicate
- Asian elephants can't actually run, running requires all 4 feet off the ground. They always keep at least 2 feet on the ground at all times. They also are digitigrades, Latin for "finger walking", meaning they walk on their toes
- Elephants use their feet to determine the direction of sound by detecting seismic signals. Sensory cells in its feet "hear" deep pitched sounds traveling up through the front legs and shoulder bones and into its middle ear. Then they compare the timing of signals received by each front feet.
- They have poor eyesight but an excellent sense of smell
- Its ears can regulate temperature. Blood is circulated to cool its body down in hot climates
- Although a huge and heavy animal, they can swim-using their trunk as a snorkel to be able to breathe in deep water
- Elephants don't actually eat peanuts. Peanuts are not part of their diet in the wild nor are elephants fed peanuts by zoo-keepers at the zoo.
Both Asian and African elephants are wonderful, intelligent creatures. Full of personality and although extremely large, are quite docile and have been known to be afraid of bees! Many farmers use beehives to keep elephants from entering the farms and eating the crops. Which is great because the farmers make money from the honey and the elephants are not killed or hurt for trespassing.
Unfortunately, elephants are victims of poaching. An estimated 35,000 elephants are killed annually for their tusks. Although not on the endangered species list's top 10, if things continue, this great beast could one day be gone. We must preserve our great animals, teaching and creating awareness helps.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP:
DONATE: You can make a difference by supporting all efforts by different organizations who fight for Elephants such as the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the World Wildlife Fund ( WWF) to name a few.
SPREAD AWARENESS: You can help spread the word about what's going on with Elephants as well as other Pachyderms. Post, re-post, share, like, and follow those who are trying to help save these creatures on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. (Don't forget to Follow us on these social media platforms as well.)
PURCHASE FROM US: By purchasing from our store, you are not just getting great products made right here in the USA, but you're also directly helping these rescue organizations save more lives. Our aspirations give us the ability to serve as a link between the preservation of beautiful creatures, and a community of faithful patrons willing to help with fundraising for a noble cause.
The Creature Getup Charity Collection
Elephant Collection, we donate A portion of profits to Help SAVE these Wonderful Creatures.
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