A big ear of an elephant
Elephants Ear

Why Do Elephants Have Big Ears? (Interesting Ear Facts)

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  • Post category:Elephants
  • Post last modified:5 February 2022
  • Reading time:3 mins read

African elephants hold the record for having enormous ears, so it’s no wonder that we want to learn why they are so big. The below will answer this question for you and some exciting ears facts I want to share with you.

Elephants have big ears to help regulate their body temperature. You often see elephants flapping their ears. By doing this, they are regulating the blood vessels and cooling themselves down like a fan. Having big ears also helps them hear better, like the African elephants they can listen to up to six miles away.

Elephant Ear Facts

  • You can see the blood vessels behind the ears.
  • They have incredible hearing and can listen to up to six miles away.
  • Elephants flap their ears to keep themselves cool. The hotter they are, the more they flap their ears.
  • Asian elephants have smaller ears because they live in a cooler climate. African elephants’ ears are a lot bigger to help disperse the heat from their hotter environment.
  • The African elephant has the biggest ears out of all living animals.
  • When threatened an elephant will puff out their ears and make themselves look even bigger in the hope, it will scare off the predator.
  • A single ear of an elephant can weigh up to hundred pounds.
  • African elephants ears are shaped like the outline of the country Africa.

Elephant Ear Sizes

African elephants have nearly three times bigger ears than Asian elephants. See below the size of their ears.

  • African Elephants: ear size is roughly six feet by five feet wide. 
  • Asian Elephants: size is roughly three feet by two feet wide. 

Differences Between African and Asian Elephants

African Elephant10-11 ft4-6 tonsGently curved upper tusks
Asian Elephant8-10 ft3-5 tonsGently curved upper tusks
Differences between African and Asian Elephants

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Teresa Milne

Teresa is learning zoology and loves to share her knowledge through her articles. She has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster. Teresa has also studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition.