Elephants are durable, majestic creatures, but the average American doesn’t know much about their life or habitat. We work with Save The Elephants for a line of jewelry that comes with tracking information for your very own elephant. In this article, we’ll cover five of the most interesting elephant facts you should know about these unique animals.
Elephants Take Decades to Finish Growing
While humans grow to their full size in the first quarter of their lifespan, male elephants can take as long as 40 years to finish growing as adults. Wild elephants live just a few years short of a human lifespan at a range of 60-70 years. That means they spend more than half their lives growing.
With that being said, elephants are large animals from birth—in fact, newborn elephants can weigh over 250 pounds. They may even grow to be nearly 50 times that size as adults.
Elephants Are the Largest Animals on Land
Here’s a bonus African elephant fact: while the largest whales can dwarf them in size, Afircan elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They’re slightly larger than their counterparts in Asia, with male African elephants weighing over 10,000 pounds in some cases.
Male African elephants can also reach up to 13 feet from their shoulders to the ground, more than twice the height of the average human. Asian elephants may be a little smaller, but they’re still massive compared to most other land animals.
Elephant Trunks Are Extraordinarily Versatile
Elephants are known for their trunks, but most people don’t realize just how powerful those tools really are. In fact, the average elephant has something like 150,000 different muscle units in its trunk, making it a surprisingly helpful instrument for a variety of tasks. An elephant trunk can hold nearly ten liters of water, and it can also be used to do something as precise as shelling peanuts.
Elephants Have Much Thicker Skin than Humans
Human skin is only a few millimeters thick, while elephant skin is typically more than two full centimeters. Their famous wrinkles give them the ability to retain water and cool down as needed, which is highly convenient in much of their natural habitat. Elephants also take “baths” in mud and dust in order to remove debris and avoid sun damage.
Elephants Grow Up Fast
We mentioned that elephants take decades to fully grow, but that doesn’t mean that young elephants need to be taken care of. While newborn humans take years to walk, talk, and interact with others, baby elephants can stand and walk within a few hours. Furthermore, it only takes them around two days to keep up with adults, so new elephants barely cause any delay for the rest of the pack.
Elephants are fascinating creatures that appear naturally in Africa and Asia, but their population has declined dramatically over the last several generations. With the elephant population dwindling, it has never been more important to increase awareness of this unique animal. Make sure to check out our website for more information about what we’re doing to protect elephants as well as other threatened species.