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Monday, January 7, 2013

30 Weird Facts about Elephants

Quick facts about Elephants

*An elephant's trunk is actually an extended nose and upper lip.An adult African elephant's trunk is about two meters long.

*Elephants uses trunks for smelling,touching,grasping,collect food and water,breathing,and even hurl objects.
  • *Elephants can suck 7.5 liters of water into its trunk at a time.

    *Elephants will use their trunk to make loud trumpeting noise, in case,if it is threatened and give warnings to other elephants.

    * Elephants are fond of water and enjoy showering by sucking water into their trunks and spraying it all over themselves. Afterwards, they often spray their skin with a protective coating of dust.

    *The trunk contains an estimated 100,000 muscles and tendons in the trunk, giving it extreme flexibility and strength.

    *Asian elephants have one finger—like projection at the tip of the trunk and African elephants have two. These finger—like projections are used for grasping small and delicate objects.

    *Elephants are social creatures.They hug wrapping their trunks together in displays of greeting and affection.

    *The elephant can also use its trunk to grasp an entire tree branch and pull it down to its mouth. Elephants also use their trunks to yank up clumps of grasses and shove the greenery into their mouths.

    *Elephants  use their trunks to lift  a newborn elephant to its feet. And just as a human baby sucks its thumb, an elephant calf often sucks its trunk for comfort.

    *One elephant can eat 300 pounds (136 kilograms) of food in one day.Elephants  are herbivores and eat roots, grasses, fruit,bark,banana and sugarcane.

    *Elephants tusks are elongated incisors,extending from an elephant's upper jaw.They use their tusks to get food by digging up roots and peeling tree barks.Like human right-handed and left-handed,elephants are also right-tusked and left-tusked using one more than the other.Calves will have tusk from the age of two.Elephant tusks are ivory teeth and it grow for the rest of life.

    *Elephants are mammals. Of all animals, elephants have the longest pregnancy—it lasts 22 months.

    *Elephants have small brown eyes.In general,they have poor eye sight.Their vision is better in dim light than in bright.

    *Elephants can live to be about 70 years old.

    *African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They have large fan shaped ears.  Asian Elephant have smaller in comparison.Their hearing is poor.On a blazing hot day,Elephants will flap their ears to get cool breeze.They extend their ears fully to show aggression.

    *Elephants weight ranges from 11000 - 15000 pounds and height 10 -13 feet.

    *Elephants are able to swim for long distances.

    *Elephants spend about 16 hours a day eating and so they sleep very less time.

    *Elephants walk on their tiptoes(that is on the balls of their feet).Most elephants have four toes in their forelimb and three toes in their hindlimb.

    *Elephants are intelligent and it weighs 11 pounds - four times the size of the human brain.They have good memory.

    *Elephants have pillar like legs to support their massive weight.

    *Elephants skin is rough and wrinkled but it is sensitive to touch and temperature.The folds in their skin holds moisture to keep them cool.

    *The bottom of their feet composed of fatty tissue allows them to tread very softly.

    *One of the softest parts of their body is at the back of the ears, which is called the knuckle. Elephant trainers, called Mahouts, use their feet to steer or give commands to the animal via the knuckle at the back of the ears.

    * Elephants have a longer pregnancy than any other mammal—almost 22 months.
    *Male elephant is referred as bull and female is called as cow.Baby elephants are called as calves.Group of elephants collectively called as herd.

    *Elephants can communicate over long distances by producing a sub-sonic rumble that can travel over the ground faster than sound through air. Other elephants receive the messages through the sensitive skin on their feet and trunks.

    *An elephant’s tail can be as long as 1.3m and is tipped by a series of very coarse, wire-like hairs. They have an extraordinary degree of control over tail movement and use them as a fly swat against insects.

    *Elephants usually have 26 teeth: the incisors, known as the tusks, 12 deciduous premolars, and 12 molars.Elephants will have six sets of teeth as humans have two sets for their lifetime.Teeth are not replaced by new ones emerging from the jaws vertically as in most mammals. Instead, new teeth grow in at the back of the mouth and move forward to push out the old ones, similar to a conveyor belt.If the sixth set is lost,mostly animal will die in starvation.

    *The National Heritage Animal of India is Elephant.

    *All African elephants, male and female, have tusks whereas only some Asian males have tusks. About 50% of Asian females have short tusks known as tushes - which have no pulp inside.

Indian Elephant and a calf