You might think you know everything there is to know about the largest land mammal on earth, but how well do you really know these friendly pachyderms? Check your knowledge with these 13 fun facts about elephants.

  1. Elephants are the only land mammals that cannot jump. Elephants can, however, use their massive weight and power to push just about anything out of their way.
  2. Did you know that elephants purr, much like cats do? But while cats purr as a means to comfort each other and promote healing, elephants purr as a means of communication. This purring is just one of many sounds scientists have documented in elephants.
  3. The elephant is the largest land mammal currently on earth. Prehistoric animals were larger, of course, but the elephant is the largest remaining land mammal.
  4. A single elephant tooth can weigh more than six pounds.
  5. The average elephant can spend up to 16 hours of its day looking for food and eating. It takes a lot of energy to move such a large body around.
  6. Baby elephants often suck their trunks to calm themselves down and as a source of comfort, just like human babies sucking their thumbs.
  7. Elephants are “right handed” or “left handed” just like people are, only their hands are their tusks. Some elephants prefer to use their right tusk for digging, while others go to the left.
  8. Contrary to popular myth, elephants can swim. They even use their trunks as snorkels when they move through the water.
  9. Elephants use their trunks to smell the air for predators and other dangers. They can even wave their trunks around to get a better whiff.
  10. An elephant often flaps its ears to cool off in the hot African sun.
  11. The skin of the average elephant can be up to one inch thick.
  12. The tusks of an elephant continue to grow throughout their entire lives.
  13. Elephants can use their feet as extra ears, using them to feel vibrations under the ground. They are able to pick up the vibrations and other noises made by other elephants, and other animals as well.


– Beconrad