As the largest land animals on the planet, elephants are effortlessly impressive and majestic mammals. Everyone knows that at Vegan Hippo we are huge fans of the hippopotamus, but today we would like to take some time to share some elephant facts!

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Elephant Facts

Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump, but they do have highly developed brains that are nearly four times the size of the human brain. The skin of an elephant is an inch thick, and although they have poor eyesight, they have an incredibly powerful sense of smell. Although elephants are so huge, they are able to walk almost silently thanks to the soft padding on their feet.

Birth and Life

An elephant will generally live to over 70 years old when they are in the wild. However, elephants that live in captivity can expect to reach approximately only half of this age. When they are around 16 years of age, elephants are able to begin reproducing. Although elephants have many child-bearing years, they will typically have less than four children during their lives. This can be attributed in part to the long pregnancies that elephants experience. The total time from conception to birth is 22 months, making this the longest pregnancy duration of all animals.

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Communication and Emotions

The way in which elephants communicate with each other sounds similar to the purr of a cat! They also use their feet to listen, and can pick up vibrations from the ground.

These mammals are often best known for their long memories, but they are also very playful animals that can also be observed to laugh and cry. It has also been shown that elephants show compassion to each other and also feel grief.

Trunks and Tusks

The trunk of an elephant has over 40,000 muscles in it! It is used both for lifting food into the mouth, and for sucking up water to then be squirted into the mouth! Trunks are also used to investigate the things around them, and are used to detect the temperature of an object, as well as its size and shape. When an elephant waves its trunk in the air it is most likely trying to smell something better. Also, when an elephant goes for a swim, they are able to use their trunks to breathe above the water!

Tusks, on the other hand, are used for lifting things, digging down into the ground to look for water and also for defending against predators. Each elephant will have a preference over which one of their tasks they prefer to use more dominantly for these tasks!

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