An elephant calf will only learn how to use its trunk properly at about six months of age. And 6 more elephant facts

An elephant calf will only learn how to use its trunk properly at about six months of age. And 6 more elephant facts

  • Thursday, 01 February 2018
  • Linda Chivell

The elephant is the largest land mammal on our planet – but it might not be with us for much longer!  Numbers have declined for a number of reasons, not least hunting but the biggest threat they face right now is through human population growth that encroaches their grazing land. They literally have nowhere left to go.

Here’s a look at some interesting ELe- facts.

elephant trunk

  1. How many muscles does an elephant trunk have?

An elephant trunk has up to 150,000 muscles in it while a human has more than 600 muscles in their entire bodies. Elephants use their trunks to pick up objects, trumpet warnings and greet one another.

elephant african asian

  1. What's the difference between Asian and African elephants?

Asian and African elephants differ in both size and the shape of their ears. Asian elephants are smaller than their African brethren, and their ears are straight at the bottom, distinct from the large fan-shaped ears of the African species. Only some Asian male elephants have tusks, while African elephants—both male and female—sport the ivory.

elephant tusk

  1. Do elephants have a dominant tusk?

Elephants can be either left- or right-tusked, and the dominant tusk isobviously smaller because of wear and tear from frequent use.

elephant babies

  1. How often do elephants give birth?

Elephant mums have the longest gestation period of any mammal— a whopping 22 months! The females give birth every four to five years. Matriarchs obviously dominate the complex social structure of elephants and calves. In contrast,  male elephants tend to prefer to live in isolation or in small bachelor groups.

elephant eco system

  1. How do elephants help their ecosystem thrive?

Elephants are important ecosystem engineers. At least a third of tree species in central African forests rely on seeds passing through an elephant’s digestive tract before they can germinate.

elephant ivory

  1. What's the most urgent threat to elephants?

Thousands of elephants are killed every year by poachers for their ivory. Various organizations train and equip rangers and community-based organizations to tackle poaching and help strengthen national and international laws and enforcement. You can help, too, by signing on to stop wildlife crime.

elephant humans

  1. Can humans and elephants peacefully coexist?

As wild spaces shrink, elephants and humans are forced into contact and often clash. Organizations like WWF can help to mitigate elephant-human conflict by implementing, for instance, electric fences to protect crops and elephant “flying squads” to safely drive wild elephants away from farms and back into the forests.


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