They’re enormous and intelligent, strong and social.
Perhaps the reason we love elephants so much is because they have emotions ... just like us! They can express grief, compassion, self-awareness, altruism and play. They sometimes even “hug” by wrapping their trunks together in displays of greeting and affection.
What else makes elephants so great?
Did You Know?
We Don’t Forget
Our brain alone weighs more than 10 pounds … making us one of the most intelligent animals on Earth. Our highly developed brain is the largest of all land mammals ... it’s three to four times larger than the human brain.Tweet this Fact
In addition to having the largest brains of all land mammals, we also have the
We use our trunks to suck up water to blow into our mouth to drink or onto our body for bathing or cooling. But, we can’t drink water directly through our trunks. We can use our trunks just like humans use their hands: to grab, hold, pick up, reach, touch, pull, push and throw.Tweet this Fact
Tip the Scales
Bigger is better ... right? It takes a special scale to measure us. Male elephants tip the scales at more than 16,000 pounds, while females weigh in at an average of 7,000 pounds.Tweet this Fact
Mama knows best! We live in close social groups called herds, usually made up of related females and our offspring. Our matriarch is usually the oldest and most experienced member of the group. She remembers where and how to find food and water, how to avoid predators and the best places for shelter. She also keeps the younger elephants in line and teaches them how to behave in elephant society.Tweet this Fact
Let’s See Those Chompers!
We have four molars in our mouth … two on each side of our jaw … weighing five pounds and measuring the size of a brick. Our teeth get worn down with all of the grinding and chewing of fibrous plant material we eat, so we have replaceable teeth. That’s right, we get six sets of teeth in our lifetime. No need for dentures here! Our replacement teeth come in horizontally rather than vertically, with the newer tooth pushing forward the older one, which falls out in pieces.Tweet this Fact
Special thanks to the Fort Worth Zoo for hosting Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.