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Eleven exciting elements about elephants

 

Elephant Day is August 12! We've put together 11 fabulous facts about these powerful pachyderms (that's a large mammal with thick skin).

1. Elephants can’t jump.

a mother and daughter grey elephant

Pexels/Casey Allen

They aren’t the only animal that can’t get any air though — sloths, rhinos and hippos also can’t jump.

2. Elephants are the largest land animal in the world.

a family of large mud covered elephants

Pixabay

The largest one ever recorded was an African elephant that weighed almost 11,000 kilograms! That’s about as heavy as an anchor on a giant cruise ship!

3. Elephants can hear with their feet.

close-up of elephant feet

Pixabay

Well, not exactly, but the feet of elephants are very sensitive and can detect vibrations through the ground that can let them know that danger may be close.

4. Elephants can live an average of 70 years.

and old elephant

Pixabay

The oldest recorded elephant lived to be 86 years old.

5. Elephants don't like peanuts.

a bunch of peanuts in their shells

Pixabay

Even though many cartoons and movies show that elephants like peanuts, it’s actually not true! They don’t eat them in the wild and peanuts are not a part of their diet.

6. Elephant trunks are tools.

an elephant using its trunk to put something in its mouth

Pixabay

The trunk of an elephant acts as a tool (like an arm with a hand) to pick things up like food for example. Elephants are so skilled with their trunk that they can pick up a single, tiny grain of rice! They also use the trunk to suck up water to then spray into their mouths for drinking.

7. Elephants are super intelligent!

elephants on the water with a reflection

Pixabay

Elephants have the largest brain of any land mammal and they're really smart. They can use tools — like using sticks to scratch themselves and make fly swatters out of branches. They also show empathy — which means that they comfort one another when in distress. And they have fantastic memory — not only can they remember the long routes to their watering holes, but they will also recognize their human and elephant friends even after they haven't seen them in a long time.

8. Elephants can get a sunburn.

an elephant tossing dirt on itself

Pixabay

To protect themselves, they will use their trunks to pick up and blow sand onto their backs. Sometimes they will mix the sand with water to make a mud that they will spray onto their backs for extra protection from bugs too.

9. Elephants love to swim!

four elephants playing in the water

Pixabay

They love to play in the water and splash around. They will even use their trunks as snorkels when in deep waters.

10. Elephants aren't scared of mice.

cute little brown mouse

Pixabay

Elephants are afraid of ants and bees, but not mice as many people believe. Farmers in Africa will put beehives around their crops to keep the elephants from snacking on their goods.

11. Elephants have four molars.

elephant with its mouth open

Photo by Chris Mavricos licensed CC BY-NC 2.0 

They have one on the top and bottom of each side of their mouths. These molars are about the size of a brick and can weigh about as much as one too!


Think you know about elephants now? Test your knowledge with our elephant quiz!