Top 101 Elephant Facts For Kids

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Elephant Facts

Elephants are the largest, heaviest and beautiful animals on the planet earth. Here are 101 elephant facts for kids categorized namely anatomy facts, family & reproduction facts, diet facts, social life facts, ‘sad-but-true’ facts and including some unusual fun facts too!

Elephant Anatomy Fun Facts

Elephant Anatomy Facts

  • The largest elephant in the world weighed 24,000 pounds!
  • An elephant heart can weigh 20 kg!
  • Elephants have a bad eyesight.
  • An ear of a male African elephant weighs over 45 kilograms!
  • The brain of an adult elephant weighs around 4.5 kilograms.
  • An elephants trunk is also called a proboscis.
  • A trunk is a fusion of the upper lip and nose.
  • Elephants have the largest brain compared to all land mammals.
  • Other than humans, elephants are the only mammals that have chins.
  • The trunk of an elephant weighs around 181 kg.
  • Female elephants stop growing when they are twenty years old.
  • Male elephants keep on growing all their lives.
  • A fully-developed adult bull elephant can weigh as much as three minivans, 80 well-built humans, 12 large horses or 1500 cats!
  • Calves sometimes suck their trunks just like babies suck their thumbs.
  • An elephant’s ear flaps contain a lot of blood vessels called capillaries.
  • An elephant’s dominant tusk is called the master tusk.

Elephant Family / Reproduction Facts

Elephant Family Facts

  • At birth, an elephant weighs 104 kg.
  • Elephants can give birth to young every 3-4 years.
  • Unlike humans, female elephants can have babies until they reach age 50.
  • Baby elephants weigh around 22 kg.
  • The incubation period of an elephant is 22 months.
  • Newborns can stand up quickly after they are born.
  • When elephants are born, they are blind.

Elephant Diet Facts

Elephant Diet Facts
Elephant Diet Facts (Source: Wikimedia)
  • An elephant can eat 224 kg of food in a day.
  • According to Elephant studies, elephants spend 16 hours a day just eating!
  • Elephants eat 50 tons of food annually.
  • Elephants do not like peanuts (the cartoons are wrong).
  • Elephants love to drink a lots of water.
  • Adult elephants need up to 160 L of water a day.
  • An elephant trunk can pick up a single grain of rice!
  • Elephants love bananas.
  • Elephants know if a carcass is an elephant carcass.

Elephant Unusual & Fun Facts

Elephant Unusual Facts

  • Elephants are the only land mammals that can jump.
  • Elephants can swim using their trunk as a snorkel.
  • Rock hyraxes are the only relative of elephants that are not extinct.
  • Asian elephants do not run.
  • A blue whale’s tongue weighs about the same weight of a female African elephant.
  • Elephant twins are uncommon.
  • Elephant Appreciation Day is on September 22.
  • Elephants sleep 2-3 hours daily.
  • One of the most expensive brands of coffee is made from elephant dung.
  • Elephants can travel up to 90 miles per day.
  • Elephants are keystone species in their environments.
  • Elephants are endangered species.
  • In the year 2000, around 15,000 elephants worked for humans.
  • A popular elephant movie is Dumbo.
  • Some elephants work at circuses and perform tricks.
  • Elephants can give tuberculosis to humans.

Elephant Sad-But-True Facts

Elephant Sad Facts

  • Elephants are poached for their ivory tusks (ivory is used to make jewelry and other things).
  • In Africa, ninety-six elephants die a day.
  • Thomas Alva Edison electrocuted an elephant in 1903.
  • Around one hundred elephants are killed every day to get their ivory.
  • It is illegal to trade ivory today, but people continue to kill elephants.
  • Mothers sometimes stay with her dead calves for days.
  • Elephants have been seen touching the dead with their feet lightly.
  • Sometimes, elephants take bones of the dead and carry it with them.
  • They don’t do this with other animals.
  • Other dead animals are completely ignored by elephants.
  • Some of the time, they bury the body of the dead.
  • Elephants sometimes bring food to dying or weak elephant.
  • If an elephant is injured, or sick, elephants in the family unit try to help it.
  • If an elephant cannot walk, other elephants use their tusks and trunks to move it.
  • If an elephant can walk but is still sick or injured, the other elephants slow down so it can catch up.
  • Elephants are also poached for their hide and meat.
  • Deforestation causes health issues to elephants.

Elephant Special Behavior Facts

Elephant Special Talent Facts

  • Elephants can also communicate with each other by touching.
  • Elephants can laugh and cry.
  • To communicate, elephants purr (like cats).
  • Elephants know they are looking at themselves when they see a mirror.
  • Elephants have emotions.
  • Elephants are not scared of mice, unlike myths which say so.
  • Elephants are scared of bees and ants.
  • Elephants cannot gallop.
  • Elephants grieve when someone they know dies.
  • Elephants can recognize someone they saw years ago.
  • An elephant in a South Korean Zoo can talk five words in Korean.
  • It looks like elephants know what other elephants are thinking.
  • Elephants can hear other elephants trumpet from 8 km away.
  • African elephants have the best sense of smell out of all animals.
  • Elephants know if other elephants are male or female.

Elephant Social Life Facts

Elephant Social Life Facts

  • Family units are led by the oldest female in the group – not the male.
  • A male elephant is called a bull.
  • Male elephants are not in family units.
  • Males leave their family when they are 10-15 years old.
  • A family unit usually has 3-25 elephants.
  • Family units become bigger if younger females have calves.
  • When a family unit becomes too big, some elephants leave to start their own family units.
  • A lot of the time, family units stay with 1-5 other family units. This is called a bond group.
  • If two of the family units member’s die, they sometimes join again to form a single family unit.
  • The leader of the group is called the matriarch.
  • When a lot of bond groups have the same home range, it is called a clan.
  • The matriarch is usually 40-50 years old.
  • Matriarchs help the family unit a lot since they usually know the best water holes and the best feeding areas.
  • Since matriarchs are leaders, they decide when to travel.
  • Matriarchs decide when to eat and when to rest.
  • Matriarchs lead the family unit until they die.
  • After a matriarch dies, the oldest female becomes the new matriarch.
  • Sometimes young males go with bulls that leave the family unit.
  • Sometimes after a bull leaves a family unit, it stays with another family unit for a couple of years.
  • Usually, the members of a family unit are mothers, calves, and other females that are related to them.
  • When family units are walking, calves are in the middle, so they have more protection.
  • Cite this article as: "Top 101 Elephant Facts For Kids," in Bio Explorer by Jack Kirsten, February 18, 2018, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/elephant/facts/.

    References

    • “SOS Elephants’ Mission”. Accessed on Feb 17 2018. Link
    • “Africa Geographic – Wildlife”. Accessed on Feb 17 2018. Link
    • “Eleaid Asian Elephant Conservation Charity”. Accessed on Feb 17 2018. Link
    Top 101 Elephant Facts For Kids
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