The day is observed every year on 12 August to make people aware of the critical threats that elephants are facing and to find an optimal solution to ensure their survival. There are several organisations and people across the world working for the welfare of elephants. World Elephant Day also encourages and supports their work.
On this World Elephant Day, we are going to tell you some of the interesting facts related to elephants. Scroll down the article to read more about this.
- If you have ever wondered how elephants got their name then, you need to know that the word 'elephant' has been derived from the Greek word 'elephas'. Elephas means ivory.
- Elephants are known to be the largest land mammals living on the earth. Among all the elephants, African Elephants are the largest. The males can measure up to a height of 3 meters and can weigh up to 6 tonnes.
- wild elephants have a lifespan of 60-70 years and they reach their full height at the age of 35-40 years.
- You will be surprised to know that a newborn calf of an elephant can weigh up to 120 kg which is similar to lifting 19 stones!
- You can easily differentiate between an African or Asian elephant by simply looking at their ears and trunk. The African elephants have comparatively bigger ears and those have the shape of African continent while the Asian elephants' ears are more like the shape of the Indian subcontinent. The tip of the trunk of African Elephants has two fingers while Asian elephants have only one finger at the tips of their trunk.
- Believe it or not, the trunk of an elephant is basically the extension of its nose and upper lip. The trunk comprises over 150,000 is capable of doing many things such as catching a peanut, peeling it, blowing the shell and then putting it in the mouth. Elephants store up to 8 liters of water in their trunk.
- The tusks of elephants are basically enlarged incisors that help them in many things. The tusks first appear when an elephant turns 2 years old and keeps on growing throughout his/her life. Elephants can use their tusks in feeding, digging the earth and protecting themselves when in danger.
- The average gestation period of any elephant is 22 months. The newborn babies can stand on their own minutes after their birth.
- Elephants are able to locate water and food with the help of their trunk. They use their trunks to smell the food and then put it in their mouths.
- If you have ever wondered why elephants coat their skin with mud and spend hours sitting in the mud, then you may not know that even elephants can too get sunburned. They bathe in mud to protect themselves from sunburn and keep bugs off their bodies.
- Female elephants live in large groups headed by a matriarch. The matriarch is the oldest female elephant in the group and it is always her who decided where and when the group should move for food and shelter. The male elephants leave their groups after they have attained the age of 12-15. They then go on to live with other males or wander independently.
- A normal elephant needs 150 kg food on a daily basis and perhaps therefore, they keep on eating throughout the day.