The African elephant is the world’s largest land mammal – with males on average measuring up to 3m high and weighing up to 6 tonnes. Males only reach their full size at 35-40 years – that’s well over half their lifespan as wild elephants can live for up to 60-70 years.
There are two species of elephant: African and Asian. The ears of African elephants are much larger than their cousins and are described as being shaped like the African continent, whereas the ears of Asian elephants are shaped like the Indian subcontinent.
Elephants are pregnant for a long 22 months. Longer than any other animal. At birth, a baby elephants weigh 210 lbs (or 95kg).
Elephants spend up to 16 hours foraging every day. Only 2-3 hours are spent sleeping.
An astonishing is the discovery that elephants may be able to sense these vibrations through their feet and interpret them as warning signals of a distant danger.
“Elephants may be able to detect stress from a herd many miles away,” says Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell, an affiliate of the Stanford Center for Conservation Biology and a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Pediatrics.
“They may be communicating at much farther distances than we thought,” adds O’Connell-Rodwell, author of the JASA study.