Elephants are huge animals. If you have ever heard the amount of noise that a lizard makes when rustling through the leaves you would think that an elephant must make enough noise when they pass by to awaken an entire village. The truth is these humongous creatures are graceful on their feet and can pass by a camp without awaking the sleeping people in the tents.
The trunk of an elephant can be used to smell things, lift things, grab things, and even spray water over their backs when they are hot. Let’s see what other interesting facts we can discover about the elephants of the world.
How Much Does an Elephant Weigh?
The weight of an elephant is going to be determined by the species of elephant it belongs to, its gender, and its age.
The average African elephant bull weighs about 6 tons.
The average female African elephant weighs close to 3.6 tons, give or take a few thousand pounds.
African elephants have larger ears than Asian elephants. You can also look closely at the ears of an African elephant and see that the ears are shaped like the country of Africa.
Asian elephants are generally smaller than the African variety. The average male Asian elephant will weigh about 4,000 or 5,000 pounds.
The average female Asian elephant is going to weigh close to 3,000 pounds herself, and often they weigh more.
The tiny little newborn elephants are not exactly tiny. The smallest of these new babies will weigh close to 170 pounds or 77 kg. when it is born.
A baby elephant will drink close to 11 liters of mother’s milk each day. Within twenty minutes of being born the new baby will be standing. Within one hour the new baby will be able to walk.
An interesting fact is that although the mother elephant carries the baby for almost two full years before she gives birth the baby is born with a brain that has not fully developed. During the first few months after they are born their brains develop due to the teaching of their mothers.
All of the female elephants in a herd help to care for the babies. During the first year of their lives, the young ones do not have much control over their trunks and they primarily feed on nothing but milk.
When a baby is born the other females in the herd will trumpet the news so everyone knows of the new arrival.
Trunks and Things
The trunk of a full-grown male elephant can weigh more than 140 pounds. The trunk can hold over 12 liters of water so it makes the perfect ready-to-go shower.
The heart of an elephant weighs between 26 and 46 pounds. Their hearts do not beat as rapidly as human hearts do. The typical human heart beats between 60 and 100 times each minute. The typical elephant heart beats between 28 and 30 times a minute.
Tusks of male elephants can weigh between 50 and 79 kg, or 100 and 174 pounds, depending on their length and thickness. The heaviest tusk on record weighed 224 pounds.
Female elephants also have tusks but theirs are less prominent and often a great deal shorter and lighter than the ones on a male.
Did You Know
- The temporal lobe of an elephant is larger and denser than the human temporal lobe. That is why an elephant has a fabulous memory.
- Elephants like to live in large groups because they are very social animals.
- Young female elephants usually stay with the herd they were born into for their entire lives.
- The lead elephant is a matriarch. She teaches the rest of the herd where to find food and water and when to move on to the next place.
- Male elephants between the ages of 10 and 19 will normally leave the herd and live a solitary bachelor life for a while.
- Male elephants do not reach their prime breeding age until they are 30 to 35 years of age.
- Elephants have poor eyesight.
- When living in the wild an elephant normally only sleeps about two hours per day. If they are living in captivity they will sleep between 4 and 6 hours per day.
- When one of the herd dies the entire herd mourns the loss.
How much does the world’s heaviest elephant weigh?
The heaviest elephant on record weighs 24,000 pounds.
Is the elephant the heaviest animal on earth?
No. The heaviest animal on earth is the Antarctic Blue Whale. On average they weigh as much as 33 average elephants or about 400,000 pounds. The elephant is the heaviest land animal on earth.
Is there a pygmy elephant?
Yes. The Bornean pygmy elephant stands less than five feet tall and weighs close to 4,000 pounds.