Elephants have long played a prominent role in the spiritual cultures of the people who share their habitat. These large, muscular creatures can clear trees, provide transport, or destroy a village in a single rampage incident. Known for their family units and long memories, Asian elephants have a number of important facts that help to make them truly unique in today’s world.
1. An Adaptable Animal
Asian elephants are considered an endangered species, but their future holds a lot of promise if humans stop devastating the species. They can live in tropical forests, lowland valleys, and even in mountainous environments up to 10,000 feet in altitude. With a varied diet and enough open access, they will prefer to stay away from humans.
2. A Hefty Appetite
Asian elephants have mighty molars that help them break down numerous forms of vegetation – including tree bark. In captivity, the average elephant is going to eat more than 100 pounds of hay every day. They’ll also get 10 pounds of fruits and vegetables, another 10 pounds of pellets, and some branches to enjoy.
3. Not Coming Out
Asian elephants have one of the longest gestation periods that scientists know of in the animal kingdom. The average calf takes at least 20 months to fully form, with many gestation periods being 22 months in length. Only one calf is typically born. Female elephants won’t typically have their first calf until they reach 14 years of age and then average about one calf every 4 years.
4. Listen To Your Mother
Asian elephants are also guided by a matriarch instead of a patriarch. The oldest and largest female elephant usually fulfills this role. Family units are called herds and when different families come together for travel, this is called a clan. Unless the male elephants are younger than 13, they’ll be off wandering around on their own or with their own bachelor crew.
5. A Useful Trunk
Elephants can uproot a tree with their trunk. They can also use it to pluck a single blade of grass. With more than 40,000 muscles, it winds up being a very useful tool.
Asian elephants are one of the most fascinating creatures on the planet today. They are also only 1 of 3 known animals who can recognize their own individuality in a mirror. With facts like these, how can you not fall in love with these majestic creatures?