Tikiri Animal Knowledge Series
This weeks animal in the spotlight is the gigantic elephant!
Even though elephants are our largest land mammals they don't seem scary often living very closely with humans.
Remember - an elephant never forgets! There have been accounts of elephants remembering humans and other animals after being separated for over 10 years! Now that's impressive.
What else can we learn about these gentle giants?
Elephant Fun Facts
1. There are 2 types of elephants - African and Asian. To tell the difference between them you just need to take a look at their ears. African elephants ears are much bigger and are the shape of Africa!
2. An elephants gestation period is 22 months - that's nearly 2 years! It's no wonder that baby elephants weigh approximately 95kg (heavier than average human adult) if they have been growing for that long in their mummy's bellies!
3. Elephants have the most incredible sense of smell - they can smell water from 12 miles away. The same cannot be said for their eyesight which is pretty poor in comparison.
4. An elephant drinks 210 litres of water a day. To put that into perspective - humans drink between 2.5 to 3.5 litres a day!
Photo credit: Luxstorm
5. Elephants tend to eat for up to 16 hours a day but only 2-3 hours sleeping. Sounds like they have great lives!
6. An elephants trunk is extremely dexterous - they can tell the difference between sizes, shapes and the temperatures of objects they feel with them. In fact they have 40,000 muscles in their trunk alone compared to a humans 639 in total.
7. Ever wondered why elephants like so many mud baths? Well it's because they have very sensitive skin and the mud helps to protect it.
Photo credit: Kikatani
8. Amazingly elephants can swim - they even use their trunks as a snorkel when doing deep river crossings which is super clever!
9.**Sad fact alert** Around 100 elephants are killed every single day for their tusks which are made of ivory. That's 36500 elephants a year which is so very sad.
Photo credit: Gapyearescape
10. On a lighter note - An elephants average lifespan in 70 years which is really long compared to most mammals.
We hope you enjoyed our 10 elephant facts – keep an eye out for our next animal in the limelight in the next few weeks.