We take a quick look at these amazing creatures. How many of these elephant facts did you already know?
Elephant and mother
Elephants are the largest living land mammals. Of the three main species, African Bush, African Forest and Asian Elephant, the Bush Elephant is the largest at a huge 7 tons! It really makes you think what a miracle it was that Dumbo could fly!
An Elephant's brain is a huge 5.5 kg, ours is only 1.kg! They put this brain to great use as they are tool users. They are one of the few animals who can recognise themselves in the mirror, which must be useful when the barber shows them their hair at the end of a cut. You would not want an upset elephant as they have amazing memories, we guess they probably hold a grudge.
Elephants are pregnant for 2 years! The reason why Elephants have such a long gestation period (pregnancy) has baffled scientists but it is now believed it is because it allows baby elephants to be born with highly developed brains. Elephants' bodies are specially adapted during this time to maintain a perfect balance of hormones. Having more corpus lutea than other mammals (we have one) is thought to do this.
Elephant playing basketball
These are actually modified teeth that are constantly growing about 17 cm a year. Did you know that elephants are left or right tusked, with their dominant tusks being worn down considerably more? They are straight for forest elephants and curly for bush elephants.
Elephants are not just amazing creatures in their own right they help with the balance of the ecosystems they live in. Habitat loss is a major threat to Elephants as well as the illegal Ivory trade. Thankfully many countries since 1989 banned the trade of Ivory including China which joined in 2019. Sadly in the past century Elephant numbers have declined from 12 million to 400,000. If you want to read more about this area head to the WWF site.