Elephants are one of the friendliest wild animals out there in the jungle.
This is the main reason why even when humankind couldn’t domesticate them, we started using them for travel purposes.
The giant mammal used to be one of the best methods of conveyance back in the day. Not only could the mere humans prop up on the mammals back but carry loads of weight from one place to another.
As the world and its people developed, these activities were then seen as animal abuse, so they stopped. Today, you can still ride the elephant but maybe in a wildlife zoo for recreational purposes. Naturally, the big friendly giants intrigue us and attract us humans to learn more about them. Hence, here we are going to share some cool facts about elephants and their species!
Different Species of Elephants
There are currently three living species of elephants recognized around the world:
1. African Savannah Elephant
African Savannah Elephants are the largest of all three elephant species and are considered the biggest animal to walk on land. They can be easily distinguished thanks to their signature ears that work like personal fans to radiate excess heat. Additionally, their front legs that to be longer than their hind legs, making them easily noticeable from the other two.
2. African Forest Elephant
This particular species of elephants is the only one out of all three that is not considered endangered currently. Their herds can total more than 415,000 in the wild and can be easily recognized because of how differently they use their trunk. This elephant species is highly skilled in using its trunk to communicate and handle objects.
3. Asian Elephant
The second endangered counterpart, Asian elephants, are the largest mammal of the Asian continent. These highly adaptive animals are prone to occupying from wet forests to completely dry landmasses with ease. This elephant species are highly sociable and friendly due to the Asian heritage of trying to domesticate them.
An Average Day of an Elephant
Believe it or not but elephants are constantly eating. An average day of an elephant goes by time spent between 12 to 18 hours eating grass, plants, and fruits. Totaling up to 150kg of food per day, they spend almost three-quarters of their day just eating. The little of the day left is then spent socializing, mating during the season, and sleeping. The elephants’ much fulfilling and big appetite allows them to stay active throughout the year for the mating season.
Elephants Make Their Sunscreen
Many people may find it shocking, but elephants indeed make their very own sunscreen. After a swamp bath, they’ll throw mud and sand over themselves to protect their skin from the scorching sun. They actively seek to show themselves with mud as a coping mechanism for aiding their normal skin and cooling it off by evaporation. The dried-up cooled-off mud acts as a barrier between their skin and the sun.
Probably one of the purest and most beautiful miracles of nature has to be the fact that an elephant calf can stand on all fours within 20 minutes of its birth. Even more amazing and interesting is that they can walk within an hour of its birth, and after two days, it is ready to move around and keep up with the herd. This is an elephant’s survival technique since birth, allowing them to migrate for food and water.
The Largest & Strongest
Elephants are the strongest animals on this planet. These big friendly giants are the world’s largest land animals weighing up to 12 tons – equal to almost 130 humans. They can carry a load of 9000kg, which allows them to be used by people for a long time for traveling and other purposes. Elephant trunks and tusks alone can grow over 2 meters and weigh anywhere near 300kg. So naturally, elephants are the largest and strongest land animal ever.
The primary reason why elephants were considered for circus and public entertainment was because of some cool skills that they can easily be trained to perform with their trunks. The trunk alone has around 150,000 individual muscle units in their trunks, allowing them to twist, turn and make use of the part as they may like. However, an elephant’s trunk is perhaps its most sensitive organ. So caution and care are an absolute given for the mammal. Moreover, being intelligent to develop such gestures, elephants have been observed to blow out the shell of peanuts and eat the nut thanks to their trunk.