The gentle giants we know as elephants are amazing to behold in real life. They tower above us with hairy, wrinkled skin, and their gentle lash-rimmed eyes take everything in. If you’ve ever been curious about elephants and what else they’re known for, then these are the facts to memorise asap!
They Love To Eat
Elephants absolutely love to eat. Given their size, and record as being the largest land mammal, it’s unsurprising they need to consume around 150kg of food a day. If you find them on safari in Africa, or on a jungle tour in India, you’ll usually find the elephant herd foraging, grazing, and munching most of the time. When it comes to food preferences, they don’t tend to differ much – eating fruits, leaves, bark, shrubs, grasses, and even roots.
They’re Terrified Of Bees
Elephants dislike bees. They will go out of their way to avoid them – and scientists plan to use this fear, to help keep elephants away from human settlements in Africa. While humans are unable to detect pheromones from insects and other animals, elephants are able to detect these scented cues. Scientists have seen that African elephants would specifically avoid areas where beehives and bees were swarming, due to the pheromones the bees gave off.
Elephants are able to talk to each other through a variety of ways. From trumpet calls and touch, to body language and scent. One of the most interesting ways they communicate is via vibrations – also known as seismic signals. These signals are made by creating vibrations in the ground, which scientists believe are felt within the bones of other elephants.
It’s Good To Have A Trunk
Elephants have more muscles in their trunk than almost any other mammal has in their entire body, with an incredible 150,000 muscle units. The trunk is exceedingly sensitive and can do incredibly dexterous tasks – from shelling and blowing out a peanut, to caressing their young and even holding up to 8 litres of water at a time.
The Best Memory Around
The adage of ‘an elephant never forgets’ is absolutely true. Their temporal lobe is far larger and denser than other species, and this endows them with an incredible memory. This memory not only is able to recall past events, it also helps elephants to keep track of dozens of herd mates at the same time.
Considering the hazards of flies and mosquitoes in most elephant habitats, their 2.5cm thick skin does more than just provide insect protection for elephants. These wrinkly skin folds also are able to hold up to ten times more water than skin which is flat can do. This is essential in helping them to keep their bulk cool during the heat of summer months. To avoid sunburn, a mud bath – or dust bath if mud can’t be found – will be their cool-down of choice, unlike humans who far prefer to slather on the sunscreen and lie in the shade while they enjoy a bit of relaxing fun at AFL Grand Final Betting sites.
We love that these gentle giants have such a unique disposition in the animal world. Which fact was your favourite?