A big ear of an elephant
Elephants Ear

Why Do Elephants Have Big Ears?

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

Elephant Ear Facts

  • You can see the blood vessels in the ears.
  • They have great hearing and can listen 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 much bigger to help disperse the heat from their even hotter environment.
  • The African elephant has giant ears out of all living animals.
  • When threatened, an elephant will puff out their ears and make itself look even more prominent in the hope it will scare off the predator.
  • A single ear of an elephant can weigh up to hundred pounds.
  • African elephant’s 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

Animals with big ears compared to their body size

  • Donkey
  • Elephant
  • Bat
  • Rabbit
  • Fennec Fox

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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.