COOL ELEPHANT FACTS TEXT and a cartoon Elephant

21 Cool Facts About Elephants

Elephants have always been one of my favourite animals. There is so much to learn about these animals, and below are some cool facts that you will find fascinating.

  1. Elephants like to roll around in the mud because it helps them cool off. It also keeps their skin safe from insect bites and gives them protection against the sun. The elephants do not have sweat glands or much hair on their body, so they need to find other ways of staying cool.
  2. Some elephants can be as friendly as people. They are caring and gentle to each other and other animals. But they might get angry if they feel threatened or need to protect their herd of young elephants. How friendly an elephant is towards you depends on that individual elephant’s personality and life experiences. Elephants have unforgettable memories and can remember situations and people very well.
  3. African elephants are afraid of bees. They often create swarms of hundreds of bees and attack elephants when they get too close to their hive. The whole swarm attacks as a single unit and delivers hundreds of stings in just a few seconds. African elephants are not afraid of other predators, like lions or tigers. Still, they are terrified by the African honey bees because they deliver so many stings in such a short time.
  4. Not all elephants like to be touched by humans. In the wild, elephants avoid people or get aggressive towards humans as they are not used to them. But in captivity, experts have trained adult elephants to accept human touch. Elephants that have grown up with humans from a baby can enjoy being petted.
  5. The ears of an Asian elephant are almost semi-circular in shape and shaped like the country India. 
  6. African elephants ears are shaped like Africa.
  7. Some elephants have tusks, but not all of them do. Male and female African elephants will have tusks, but only some male Asian elephants will grow tusks later in life.
  8. The elephants throw dirt on themselves to protect themselves from the sun’s harsh rays. Elephants splash their bodies with water first and then throw a layer of dirt on their back to help it form a solid thick barrier. The dirt also acts as a bug repellent.
  9. An African elephant carries its baby for 22 months, but an Asian elephant only needs to carry it for 18 months. Elephants have the longest gestation period of any mammal. Elephants have a long pregnancy due to their vast size and the time it takes for the brain to develop. The female elephant can give birth once every five years.
  10. Elephants generally drink water using their trunk. The elephants do this by sucking up the water in their trunks first and then transferring it to their mouths.
  11. All species of elephants have hair on their bodies. Even though the hair is not as thick to form fur on their body, you can see the spaced-out hair standing on their heads.
  12. Elephants use their ears to stay cool. When they are hotter than their surroundings, they flap their ears to circulate the cooler blood around them. They also create a gusting wind like a fan that helps them stay cool.
  13. Adult elephants do not lie down on the ground while sleeping. However, baby elephants often sleep on the floor. Elephants sleep only a couple of hours a day, mainly during the night, and they do this whilst standing. Elephants in captivity sleep longer, about four to six hours per day.
  14. Elephants have an excellent memory thanks to the large brain, including a sizeable part of it, being the temporal lobe area. The large temporal lobe has helped the elephant develop exceptional memory recall.
  15. Elephants do not have good eyesight. Even though the elephants are dependent on their eyesight for navigating across the forests, their vision is not that great. The small size of their eyes and their position limits an elephant’s sight even further.
  16. Elephants have 26 teeth: two incisors, which are the tusks, plus 12 premolars and 12 molars. An elephant can go through six sets of replacement molars throughout its life.
  17. No, once the tusk is broken, damaged or removed, it will never grow back.
  18. Elephants are herbivore mammals with flat teeth that help them grind vegetation properly, such as grass, fruit, leaves, roots, bark, and bulbs. Herbivores only eat things that need photosynthesis to live.
  19. Elephants cannot jump. Elephants legs, knee and ankle structures are not strong enough or built to allow them to leap in the air and to land safely. That means the elephant cannot jump even if they want to do it.
  20. Elephants are excellent swimmers. Not only that, they can submerge themselves fully into the water. They use their powerful feet like paddles and their long trunks to breathe. The elephant’s strong leg muscles help them move against the friction of water.
  21. The elephants evolved from a common ancestor, an aquatic mammal, the Manatees. Manatees look like walruses or chunky porpoises. They were also known as the sea cows.

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Teresa Milne

Teresa is learning zoology and loves to share her knowledge through her articles. She is also a avid binge watcher of wild animal documentary's. Teresa has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster. She has also studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition.