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Elephants are some of the most majestic and iconic creatures in the animal kingdom. In this blog post, we will explore these amazing animals by discussing some fascinating elephant facts that kids will love to know.
Read on to learn all about elephants – diet, characteristics and behaviours, where they live around the world and how they use their trunks!
The Elephant in simple words
Elephants are mammals and are known for their huge size, long trunk, curved Tusks and giant ears. They have an excellent memory.
Elephants are native to Africa and Southern Asia.
These enormous and intelligent animals have been roaming the earth for thousands of years, and continue to fascinate us today with their unique behaviour, incredible strength, and many fascinating characteristics.
Important Elephant Facts for Kids
- Scientific Name: African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus)
- Type: Mammal
- Life Span: 50 to 70
- Diet: Herbivorous
- Habitat: Forest, Grassland and Savannah
- Native to: Asia and Africa
- Breeds: 3
- Baby Elephants are called Calves.
- The adult female is called a Cow.
- The adult male is called a Bull.
- A Herd is a group of elephants that live together, usually led by a matriarch.
- The Matriarch is the oldest and most experienced female elephant in a herd. She leads and makes decisions for the group.
Interesting Elephant Facts for Kids
- Elephants are the Largest Land animals in the world.
- They’re a relative of the mammoth which became extinct.
- The Elephant is the National Animal of Thailand
- It is also the National Heritage Animal of India.
- They weigh up to 6800 kg. That’s heavier than a cargo truck!
- They are highly intelligent mammals.
- They remember places they have been before and even recognize familiar faces.
- Elephants can actually recognise themself in a mirror! Only a few animals can do that!
- Elephant tusks are actually teeth!
- Tusks continue growing throughout their lives.
- An enormous tusk says that the elephant is very old.
- Elephants have the longest pregnancy period of any land animals.
- The Gestation Period is about 22 months.
- Baby elephants can start walking within just one hour of being born.
- Elephants are excellent swimmers.
- They use their trunks as snorkels while swimming.
More Fun And Fascinating Elephant Facts for Kids
- Elephants cannot Jump!
- Despite their size, elephants can run fast up to 25 miles per hour.
- They can walk incredibly long distances, covering up to 80 miles in a single day.
- Elephant skin is no ordinary covering—it’s 2-3 cm in thickness.
- Elephants protect their sensitive skin from the sun with a natural sunscreen—mud!
- To beat the heat, elephants flap their massive ears, creating a cooling breeze in hot weather.
- They cry when upset and trumpet when happy or angry.
- Elephants are the only non-human animals to mourn their dead. They perform burial rituals and return to visit graves.
- Believe it or not, elephants are afraid of bees. African farmers use beehives to keep these gentle giants away from their crops.
- Elephants hate ants! They avoid trees infested with ants as they may get into their sensitive nose.
So there you have it, many facts about elephants!
Read on and learn answers to Questions you may have about Elephants.
What do Elephants Eat?
To fuel such large bodies the elephants have to eat a lot. They are herbivorous and their diet mainly consists of grass, leaves, bark, twigs, fruits, and roots.
Elephants spend up to 3/4 of their day munching. That is about 18 hours!
With all that food, it’s no wonder elephants produce about one ton of dung each week.
Adult elephants gulp down a whopping 50 gallons of water every single day!
What is the Lifespan of Elephants?
The average lifespan of an elephant is between 50-70 years old.
Why do Elephants live in Herds?
Elephants are social animals who tend to live in large groups.
Together elephants defend, find food and care for their offspring.
Each herd have 10-25 members, led by an older female.
The Elephant calves are raised by the entire herd.
Male elephants Leave the herd when they are around 12 years.
What do Elephants use their Tusks for?
Elephants use their tusks for various purposes.
1. Defense: They use Tusks to fend off predators or other threats.
2. Dominance and Mating: Male elephants use their tusks to establish Dominance during Mating competitions.
3. Feeding: Elephants use their tusks to dig for roots and strip tree bark.
It’s important to note that the ivory from elephant tusks is highly valued, which has led to illegal poaching and a threat to the elephant population.
What do Elephants use their Trunk for?
The trunk is super helpful for the elephant! It is actually their long nose used for various purposes.
- To Breath.
- To grab and bring food to their mouths and for drinking water.
- To smell. The trunk is an incredible-smelling device and can detect scents from long distances.
- To Communicate with other elephants
- To touch, explore, bond, and groom.
- As versatile tools for scratching, breaking, and self-protection.
How Elephants Were Historically Utilized by Humans?
Throughout history, elephants have been used in various ways. Here are some notable examples:
- Warfare and Military Purposes: They were trained to carry soldiers, transport supplies, and even charge into battle.
- Transportation: Elephants have been used for transporting heavy loads like Logs and Construction materials.
- Royal processions and Ceremonies: In many cultures, including ancient India and Southeast Asia, Elephants were symbols of power, majesty, and good fortune. They carried kings and rulers during important Occasions.
In more recent times, elephants have been used for Tourism and Entertainment purposes.
They have been trained to give rides to tourists, perform in circuses, and showcase their intelligence and dexterity in shows.
However, there is a growing emphasis on the ethical treatment and conservation of elephants in modern times.
The Sacred Significance of Elephants in Hinduism
Elephants have a prominent place in Hinduism. Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity, is worshipped as the remover of obstacles and the god of wisdom.
Elephants symbolize strength, intelligence, and good fortune, and are revered in religious processions, temples, and festivals.
Difference between Asian and African Elephants
African and Asian elephants are both huge mammal species with trunks and big ears. But there are notable differences between the two species.
- Size: Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants.
- Tusks: Both male and female African elephants can have tusks, while only male Asian elephants typically have tusks.
- Ears: Asian elephants have smaller, rounded ears, while African elephants have larger, fan-shaped ears.
- Trunk: African elephant has two fingers at the end of their trunk, while Asian one has only one.
- Habitat: Asian elephants are found in Southeast Asian forests and grasslands, while African elephants inhabit various habitats in sub-Saharan Africa.
What is the Conservation Status of the Elephants?
The conservation status of elephants varies by species.
- African Forest Elephants are endangered
- African Savanna Elephants are vulnerable
- Asian Elephants are endangered
90% of African elephants have been killed in the past 100 years, mainly for ivory trade.
Thus, highlighting the need for conservation efforts to protect these magnificent creatures.
So had fun Learned and Teaching these Elephant Facts to kids? Pin this image below to come back later when you need to learn these fun animal facts.
Now, here are some fun Activities that you can do to make a whole Elephant unit study!
Elephant Themed-Activities for kids
Combine Learning facts with some Fun Elephant Crafts and Activities for kids
1. Elephant Crafts
- Colourful Patchwork Elephant Craft
- Paper plate Elephant Craft
- Elephant Paper Craft
- Paper cup Elephant Craft
2. Learn to Draw an Elephant
3. Elephant Learning Printables
- Life Cycle of Elephant
- Elephant Preschool Worksheets
- Elephant Lapbook Printable
- Elephant Colouring Pages
4. DIY Elephant Toys
5. Elephant Video with facts
Elephant Fact Card
Here is a fact card with all the important information about the Gentle Giants. You can pin this image too on your child’s Learning board to check back later.