Sunday, October 24, 2021

Some Body secrets about Elephants

Diet, Digestion, Gas and Fertilizer

Elephants can be described as eating machines or manure-making machines, depending on their activities at the time.

Elephants are herbivores, not ruminants. They do not chew, ruminate or burp like ruminants (e.g. cows, bison, goats, deer). Instead, they produce methane gas: A LOT AND A LOT OF GAS. With the right equipment, a car can travel 20 miles with the amount of methane an elephant produces in a day.

Elephants can feed for up to 16 hours a day. In the wild, animals can consume up to 600 pounds of food per day, but 250 to 300 pounds are more common. A typical adult elephant in a zoo can eat 4 to 5 hay and 10 to 18 pounds (4.5 to 8 kg) of grain per day. This equates to over 29,000 kg of hay and 2,700 kg of feed per animal per year.

A normal daily consumption of water is 25-50 gallons or 100-200 liters per animal.

Elephants digest food with less than 50% efficiency. A huge amount ingested with an inefficient digestive system means large amounts of manure. Elephants defecate 12 to 15 times a day, weighing 220 to 250 pounds per day. This adds up to over 85,000 pounds of manure, over 40 tons per year per adult elephant.


In general, the size of the ears is directly related to the amount of heat dissipated through them. Differences in ear size between African and Asian elephants can be based on geographic extent. African elephants generally live in a warmer, sunny climate than Asian elephants and need larger ears to help regulate body temperature.

Ears help regulate body temperature in both species, but they are more effective on African elephants because of their larger ears. Fluttering the ears helps cool the elephant in two ways. Besides fanning the ears and moving air through the rest of the elephant's body, flapping its wings cools the blood circulating through the veins in the ears. As cold blood circulates back through the elephant's body, the animal's core temperature drops by several degrees.

The hotter it is, the faster the elephant moves its ears. However, on windy days, it may be easier for elephants to stand facing the wind, and they are sticking out their ears to take advantage of the wind.

Elephants can also spray water on their ears, which can cool down before the blood returns to the rest of the body.

Large ears also pick up more sound waves than small ones.

Big, really, really big animals

An elephant's heart makes up about 0.5% of an animal's total body weight, so if an elephant weighs 10,000 pounds, an elephant's heart would be expected to weigh 50 pounds. If an elephant weighs 4500 kg, the elephant's heart weighs 27 kg.

An elephant's intestines can be over 19 meters or 60 feet long.

At 5 inches (12.7 centimeters), elephants have the longest eyelashes in the world.

The brain of an elephant is larger than other land mammals, weighing between 8 and 12 pounds, while the human brain averages 3 pounds. The growth and development of the elephant brain is similar to that of the human brain. Both are born with a small corpus callosum. Just like humans, as young elephants grow, their brains also undergo significant growth and development. As the corpus callosum increases, so does the young elephant's ability to learn. Brain size of elephants provides them a rough measure of mental flexibility. Large mammal brains are associated with superior intelligence and complex social behavior.


Elephant hides can weigh up to 2000 pounds or over 900 kilograms.

Elephant skin lacks moisture, so it needs to be loose, especially around the joints, to give it the flexibility it needs to move.

African elephants have more wrinkles than Asian elephants. Wrinkles on elephant skin help keep the skin in good condition by retaining moisture.

The pink or light brown areas of some Asian elephant skin are due to a lack of pigmentation. This lack of pigmentation can be influenced by heredity, nutrition, habitat and age. This condition is not seen in African elephants.

The skin can be as thick as an inch in areas such as the back and as thin as 1/10 of an inch around the ears and mouth.


In addition to tusks, which are modified incisors, elephants have four molars and one molar in each jaw. African elephants go through six molars during their lifetime. One later molar can be 10 to 12 inches long and weigh over 8 pounds or 3.6 kg.

Elephant molars are wide and flat, suitable for mane. The molar surface is different between Asian and African elephants. The ridges of the chewing surface of Asian elephant molars run parallel, whereas the ridges of the molar surface of African elephants are diamond-shaped. This diamond shape led taxonomists to name the genus of African elephants "Loxodonta", the Latin word for this diamond shape.

There are no real tooth holes. As elephants build and use their molars, they pass their jaws from back to front in the form of a conveyor belt. Although only four molars are used in an elephant's mouth at a time, an elephant can pass through six molars in its lifetime. The last set usually erupts when the animal is in its early 40s and should last a lifetime

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