Top Elephants Facts for Kids:
- Elephants are the world’s largest land animal! Male African elephants can reach 3.5m tall and weigh between 4,000 – 7,500kg — Which is equal to the weight of about 3 and half cars. WOW! Asian elephants are slightly smaller, reaching 2.7m tall and weighing 3,000– 6,000kg.
- There are two species of elephant: African and Asian. The ears of African elephants are much bigger than their cousins and are described as being shaped like the African continent, whereas the ears of Asian elephants are smaller and less round.
- These amazing mammals spend between 12 to 18 hours eating grass, plants and fruit every single day! They use their long trunks to smell their food and lift it up into their mouth – yum! Elephants need up to 150kg of food per day – that’s around 375 tins of baked beans.
- Elephants have created their very own sunscreen! After a river or swamp bath, they’ll throw mud all over themselves to protect their skin from the scorching hot sun. How clever is that?!
- Elephants have around 40,000 muscles in their trunk alone. Their trunks are perhaps the most sensitive organ found in any mammal — they can delicately remove the shell and skin off a peanut! Elephants use their trunks to suck up water to drink – it can contain up to 8 litres of water. They also use their trunks as a snorkel when swimming.
- Amazingly, elephant calves are able to stand within 20 minutes of being born and can walk within 1 hour. After two days, they can keep up with the herd. This incredible survival technique means that herds of elephants can keep migrating to find food and water to thrive.
- Do elephants ever forget? The elephant’s temporal lobe (the area of the brain associated with memory) is larger and denser than that of people – which is where the saying ‘elephants never forget’ came from!