This article endeavors to cover the essential elephant facts for kids including elephant diet, habitat and reproduction. Elephants are one of the largest living mammals that belong to the family of Elephantidae. They are the member genus of Mammuthus.
There are three elephant species including African Bush Elephant, African Forest Elephant and Asian Elephant. Several species have gone extinct over the years due to hunting and forest degradation.
Elephants are the hoary creatures in that they have been evolved about 60 million years ago. They tend to be too aggressive at times and they have been known to kill large mammals like rhinoceros.
Elephant Facts For Kids
- The largest elephant had been shot dead in Angola back in 1955, with the weight of 10,900 kg (24,000 lb), and a shoulder height of about 3.96 m (13.0 feet).
- African elephants are generally 3 metres (10 feet) long, with the weight measuring 90 kg (200 lb)
These animals have the thickest skin in that it measures 2.5 cm (1.0 inches).
- Most of the species exhibit grey color; nonetheless, African elephants are brownish-red in color.
Read More: Are Elephants Endangered?
- They tend to cover their skins with mud for two purposes; one is to shield it from the sunlight and secondly it’s important for socialization.
- They are also known to expose their feet to the air by lifting it.
- Elephants have strong legs to give an absolute support to the mammoth. They seldom lie down except when they’re sick or wounded.
- With rounded feet coupled with four front-foot nails and three hind foot nails, they almost muscle anything that comes underneath.
- Elephants are the fine swimmers.
- These animals sprint at 8 km/h; however, they have also been observed to reach a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph).
- The elephant ears play a pivotal role in regulating the temperature. They are also used for displaying their aggression and mating.
- Unlike males, females tend to spend their entire life in groups. Adult males preferably lead a solitary life.
- The interaction between male and female lasts for only 20 – 30 minutes.
- The elephant brains are larger than any other animal, with a mass of about 5 kg (11 lb).
Read More: What Do Elephants Eat?
Feeding Ecology and Diet
- Since elephants are herbivores, they generally feed on plants. By using their trunks they tear off even the strongest tree branches. Elephants are also known to eat leaves, grasses, and fruits. These animals drink water by using their long trunks.
- In one time, elephants take in 14 litres (15 quarts) of water. With the help of their trunks, they sense predators and food. They spend 15 – 16 hours a day on eating plants. Elephants consume 140 – 270 kg (300 – 600 lb).
- The period of gestation lasts for 22 months.
- The weight of the newly born calf is around 105 kg (230 lb).
- The lifespan of these mammals is 50 – 70 years, with the longest lived elephant was recorded at 82 years.
- Females litter 1 calf with the length measuring 75 cm (2.5 feet).
- Hunting and forest degradation makes these animals redundant in most of the places. The elephant teeth presents as an ivory trade. In the beginning of 20th century, elephants were 5 – 10 million in numbers; however, the habitat destruction reduced the numbers to 400,000 – 450,000 species.
- In some countries, ban is imposed on the ivory trade to ensure the survival of the remaining species. These mammals also negatively affect the cultivation which brings them in conflict with humans. It is estimated that more than 100 elephants are killed each year by human hunting.
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