25 Things You Might Not Know About Elephants

  1. Elephants can be described as either eating machines or manure manufacturers, depending on their activity at the time.
  2. Elephants may feed for up to 16 hours a day. In the wild one animal can consume as much as 600 pounds of food in a single day, although 250 – 300 pounds is a more typical amount.
  3. Elephants digest their food with less than 50% efficiency. An elephant defecates from 12 to 15 times a day totaling a daily quantity of 220 – 250 pounds.
  4. Properly equipped, a car could travel 20 miles on the amount of methane produced by one elephant in a single day.
  5. Normal daily water consumption is about 25 – 50 gallons per animal, or 100 – 200 liters.
  6. An elephant’s trunk can hold 2.5 gallons of water.
  7. It is estimated that about 50,000 Asian elephants survive today.
  8. Approximately 13,000 of the 50,000 surviving Asian elephants are maintained in human care in Asian elephant range countries.
  9. Elephants have hair all over their bodies.
  10. Elephants have eyelashes.
  11. The African elephant is the largest living land mammal.
  12. The elephant trunk serves as a nose, a hand, an extra foot, a signaling device and a tool for gathering food, siphoning water, dusting, digging and much more.
    1. Only male Asian elephants have large tusks. Female Asian elephants have small tushes that rarely extend beyond their lip line.
    2. The tusks of elephants grow through their life. Tusks can weigh over 200 pounds each.
    3. Elephants don’t drink with their trunks as if it were a straw, but instead use them as a glass holding the water then pouring it into their mouths.
    4. Elephants can swim and they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
    5. Elephants have a slow pulse of 27 pulses per minute while a canary has 1000!
    6. The elephant is the only mammal that can’t jump.
    7. The elephant is pregnant for an average of 22 months.
    8. On average baby elephants weigh 200 – 300 pounds at birth.
    9. The elephant is the national animal of Thailand.
    10. An elephant’s tooth can weigh as much as three kilograms.
    11. The intestines of an elephant may be 19 meters in length, or more than 60 feet long.
    12. Elephants purr like cats do, as a means of communication.
    13. Elephants have been known to learn more than 60 commands.