18 Unforgettable Elephant Facts

Happy Elephant Appreciation Day! Large, graceful, intelligent — elephants are definitely one of my favorite animals in the kingdom. I hope to be lucky enough to observe them in the wild one day!

In honor of Elephant Appreciation Day, which occurs every year on September 22, I’d like to share some fascinating facts about elephants that are simply unforgettable. Scroll down to learn more about these gentle giants and discover the amazing selection of elephant collectibles and jewelry from The Bradford Exchange Online.

1. Elephants are the largest land mammals in the world.
African elephants weigh 5,000 to 14,000 pounds. The largest elephant recorded was an adult male African elephant who weighed approximately 24,000 pounds or 12 tons!

2. An elephant’s skin measures up to an inch thick.
Even though it’s thick, it’s very sensitive, which is why elephants take mud baths to protect them from sunburns, insect bites and moisture loss.

3. Elephants can live to be over 70 years old.
The oldest elephant ever recorded was an 86-year old elephant named Lin Wang (1917 – 2003), who spent his final years in Taipei Zoo. He was the most famous animal in Taiwan and was affectionately called “Grandpa Lin Wang” by young and old alike.

4. Elephants begin reproducing at the age of 16, and can have babies up until the age of 50.
The gestation period is 22 months, the longest of all mammals, and they rarely have more than 4 children in their lifetime.

5. An elephant calf weighs about 230 pounds at birth and stands about 3 feet tall.
They drink up to 3 gallons of milk a day for about 2 years and 99% of calves are born at night.

6. Female elephants stay with the herd for life, while males leave at around 12 to 14 years.
Elephant herds are led by a matriarch, usually the oldest in the group, who decides when and where to roam and rest.

7. Elephants have highly-developed brains and are capable of human-like emotion.
They can experience grief, cry, play and even laugh. They also have amazing memories, so there’s truth to the old adage “an elephant never forgets!”

8. Elephants aren’t afraid of mice as the myth suggests, but they are afraid of ants and bees.
Farmers in some African countries even border their farms with beehives to keep elephants away.

9. Elephants prefer one tusk over another.
Just like how people are either right-handed or left-handed!

10. An elephants trunk has 40,000 muscles, and it takes about a year for them to learn how to use it.
They are strong enough to uproot an entire tree trunk and dexterous enough to pick up a single grain of rice.

11. Elephants are wonderful swimmers.
They like to swim, dive and play in the water. They also can use their trunks as a snorkel!

12. Elephants use their feet to listen.
They can detect seismic signals and “hear” deep rumblings made by other elephants through vibrations in the ground.

13. Elephants communicate to each other through touch.
They “hug” by wrapping their trunks together, and older elephants use trunk-slaps and nudges to discipline the younger ones in the herd.

14. Elephants can’t run and they can’t jump.
They’re the only mammal that’s incapable of having all of their feet off the ground at one time.

15. An elephants tusks are technically their incisor teeth.
Each adult male tusk weighs between 110 – 175 pounds, and a female tusk weighs between 40 – 44 pounds.

16. Elephants can consume up to 600 pounds of food a day.
They can also drink as much as 50 gallons of water in a day. Contrary to popular belief, they do not like eating peanuts!

17. An elephant’s large ears regulate its temperature.
Blood is circulated through a complex network of blood vessels in each ear to cool them down in hot climates.

18. Elephants have self-awareness.
They are one of the few animals that can recognize themselves in a mirror. Other animals include great apes, magpies, dolphins, and of course, humans.

Aren’t elephants neat? They are such an interesting species, so I hope you enjoyed learning about them as much as I do. What’s your favorite animal? I’d love to connect with you in the comments.

If you love elephants, or would like to give an unforgettable gift to someone special, don’t miss the elephant collectibles, jewelry and more available on our site. Here are just 4 of my favorites:

4 elephant figurines


1. Precious Moments Love Never Forgets Figurine
2. Granddaughter, Never Forget I Love You Pendant Necklace
3. Granddaughter, Never Forget Personalized Music Box
4. Reach High for Hope Figurine

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