Does your kid, especially, like elephants? Do they keep on asking you questions about this mighty beast?
Then this post is for you!
Elephants never fail to stand out, no matter what other animals they are with – all thanks to their unique shape, size, nature, and features.
Yes, they look a bit intimidating, not to mention how gigantic they are, but they are friendly. And they are the favorite of many kids.
Kids love seeing how these giant animals pick up food and feed themselves with the help of their trunks. And my little one is no exception to it.
She turned two last month, and she loves to watch elephants. The Coco melon rhyme on elephants is her favorite, and I have to replay it again and again whenever she watches YouTube.
We recently went on a jungle safari where she saw so many elephants. I can’t express how happy she was, seeing the huge beasts with trunks roaming around.
If your kid loves elephants too, how about making their day brighter by sharing amazing facts about this animal?
Here, I have tried to do just that! I have created some fun elephant facts for kids to make their day.
They will start loving this huge animal even more and get all excited when they spot them, whether on TV or in reality.
Incredible Elephant Facts for Kids
I’m a fan of elephants myself. So, whenever I play elephant rhymes or videos on YouTube for my little one, I sit with her too. And together, we watch how majestic this animal looks!
I like to see elephants feeding themselves, bathing in the river, or even breaking branches of trees.
Did I tell you what, in my opinion, is the most beautiful feature an elephant has?
Well, it’s their eyes. Have you ever looked at the eyes of an elephant? What is the first thought that came to your mind?
I feel they are warm and friendly whenever I look into their eyes. Sometimes, I even feel they are sad.
I don’t know; there is something about the eyes of elephants that make me feel sad. Maybe it is because of the shape of their eyes, or maybe not.
Is there anything about the elephants that you find interesting too?
There are so many things about elephants that most people don’t know. And so, when it’s time to tell your kids stories or facts about elephants, you realize that you don’t know much about them.
That is where this article comes into the picture. You can find many fun and awesome elephant facts your kids will love to hear.
So, without further ado, let’s get started with it. Shall we?
1. Two Types of Elephants are There in the World
Did you know that there are only two types of elephants worldwide?
One is known as the Asian Elephant, and the other is known as the African Elephant. The Asian ones are called the Elephas maximus, and the Africans are called the Loxodonta Africana.
You can find Asian elephants in India, Nepal, and the tropical forests in Southeast Asia. And when it comes to the African elephants, you get to see them in sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahel desert, and tropical forests in West and Central Africa.
Do you know what the basic difference between these two kinds of elephants is?
Well, African elephants have bigger and more prominent ears than Asian ones.
An African elephant’s ears are about three times bigger than the ears of an Asian elephant.
2. Elephants Prefer Living in Areas Full of Grass and Trees
As you get to see African elephants in sub-Saharan Africa, they love to live in places where there are plenty of grass and trees around.
One such region is the Savanna region; elephants love to live there.
Did you know that the Savannas get about twenty to fifty inches of heavy rainfall annually?
It rains only six to eight months a year. And the temperature there remains between sixty and seventy-five degrees.
There are African elephants who prefer living in the mountains and deserts. Those who live in the desert need to walk around sixty miles a day just to get food and water. Sometimes, they even dig holes in the ground in search of water.
What if elephants don’t get any place with enough grass and trees?
In that case, they depend on water that contains high amounts of minerals and salt licks.
The Asian elephants, on the other hand, like humid and hot areas full of grass, such as you get to see in jungles.
They live in areas that have sufficient trees, grass, and shrubs so that they get enough supply of food.
They migrate depending on which time of the year it is.
The dry season falls between January and April. This is the time when elephants migrate to places such as river valleys. This is to make sure they get water from the rivers.
Between May and August, elephants migrate to places that have tall grass forests. As this is the rainy season, they get plenty of grass to feed on.
From September to December, elephants prefer living in areas with short grass, especially open forests.
3. A Full-Grown Elephant Can Eat Around 300 kgs of Food
Did you know that elephants can spend sixteen hours in a day eating?
Well, elephants like to eat. When they become adults, they can eat around three hundred kgs of food!
On average, when it comes to African elephants, they can eat about two hundred and fifty kgs of food. And Asian elephants can eat about one hundred and fifty kgs of food on average.
As elephants are herbivores, they eat bark, twigs, fruits, roots, grasses, and small plants. Their favorite food is the bark of the tree. Why?
Because it has high contents of roughage and calcium, this helps them with better digestion. They use their tusks and carve into the trunk while tearing off bark strips.
When elephants need minerals and salt, they dig into the ground.
If there is not enough grass available to eat, elephants eat whatever vegetation is there. This happens mostly at times when the weather is dry.
They use their tusks to dig for water and roots. The food that they eat is mostly left undigested. Monkeys and some other animals have their excreta as food.
When people pet elephants, they are mostly given sugar cane, lettuce, cabbage, and fruits such as bananas and apples. They eat hay as a regular food too.
The food that an Indian elephant loves most is sugarcane. But of course, they love eating crops you see in Indian paddy fields.
4. An Adult Male Elephant Can Drink About 212 Liters of Water in Five Minutes
Did you know why elephants like to live in places with a waterbody nearby?
This is because they drink a lot of water.
Asian elephants drink about forty liters of water a day on average. On the other hand, on average, African elephants drink about sixty liters of water a day.
5. Apart From Water and Food, Elephants Need a Good and Preferable Climate to Survive
There are no animals that live on elephants, which means they don’t have predators. As they are huge, they need a lot of areas where they can live comfortably, breed, and roam freely.
Apart from water and food, elephants look for areas that have favorable climates. This is why you find them mostly in the African and Asian continents.
6. Elephants Can Live for About Seventy Years
Did you know that an elephant can live for about seventy years?
Of course, they need to live where they get plenty of food and water. The stress should also be very less.
So, you can see, their life expectancy is not much different from that of humans.
Just as with other animals and us, elephants’ life span depends on many things. They may have a shorter life span if there is not enough source of water and food, if they suffer from some serious illness and if people hunt them illegally.
Elephants are lucky that they don’t have predators – all thanks to their huge size. But the number of elephants has decreased a lot because of illegal poaching.
7. Elephants Move in a Herd
Did you know that elephants travel in herds?
Male and female elephants don’t live together. The females generally live with their aunts and mothers. And the males like to live independently.
A group of female elephants has the oldest one of them as their leader. They interact with other females or males on their group’s border.
When a male elephant is between the age of twelve and fifteen, they leave the group.
Did I tell you that if a male elephant wants attention from a female elephant, they have to fight it out with other male elephants?
What happens in most cases is that the oldest male elephant in a group manages to make the younger ones lose.
8. Even If the Elephants Are Far Away From Each Other, They Can Communicate with Themselves
Did you know that elephants use different sounds to communicate with each other?
They make sounds of snorting, roaring, crying, and rumbling. They have excellent hearing power because they can hear things or each other even when they are five miles away.
This makes it easier for them to spot their group or at least know where others are when they are roaming alone.
How do they do so?
Well, elephants use the sensitive nerves that are there in their feet. They use them to hear sound vibrations when their friends travel or walk on the ground at a volume heard only by elephants.
So, now you know the benefits of having such a huge body!
Also, the ears of elephants are hyper-sensitive. This means they use their ears to communicate with their herd when they are far away. So, you see, it acts as a tracker or communicator.
9. Female Elephants Carry Their Babies in Their Wombs for Two Years
Did you know that there is a huge gap in pregnancy time between elephants and humans?
When a woman is pregnant, she carries the baby in her womb for nine months. But when a female elephant is pregnant, she carries the baby in her womb for twenty-two months. This means it takes 2.5 times more than a human fetus to develop.
When a baby elephant is born, it weighs somewhere between two hundred and three hundred pounds. So now you know why they take so much time to be born.
Also, baby elephants have almost completely developed brains when they are born. This is unlike the babies of humans.
This makes the baby elephant able to understand what their role is in the group and how to eat and walk without any help shortly after birth.
10. Elephants Can Breathe Underwater by Making Use of Their Trunks
Are you one of those who think that elephants can’t swim as they are huge?
Then you are wrong!
When it comes to swimming, elephants are great at it. It is their huge size that enables them to float on water easily. They can use their trunks for swimming long distances.
The trunk of an elephant helps them in several ways. And one of them is swimming. They use it as a snorkel when their body is completely submerged underwater.
Isn’t that awesome?
Elephants can stay in water for hours, as they love to do so.
11. Elephants are Blessed with Powerful Memories
You may have heard many stories about elephants and their excellent memories. Yes, they are true.
Let me tell you a story in this regard. This is a real-life story that happened in the year 1999 at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee.
There was an African elephant named Jenny in the sanctuary. Then there came a new Asian elephant whose name was Shirley.
The employees noticed shortly to find that Jenny was super happy to see Shirley. But they couldn’t find any reason behind that, as it was the first time they saw each other, and such a reaction was nothing you would expect. Right?
So, they checked the background of both the elephants, and it turned out that both Shirley and Jenny performed at a circus twenty-three years ago together.
And that was the reason why Jenny seemed so excited to see Shirley!
12. Elephants are Scared of Bees
Now, this information is something that you can’t digest easily. Right?
Well, I don’t blame you for that. After all, elephants are huge, and bees are just an inch or two in size.
But it is what it is! Elephants don’t like it when bees come near them. If they do, you can see the elephants kicking dust, flapping their ears, and making noises. They even run away when they hear the buzzing sound of a bee hive.
This is the reason you can see farmers in Africa keep beehives around or near their fields. This keeps elephants away.
13. The Strongest Predators of Elephants are Humans
It can be said that elephants don’t have any natural enemies or predators. Of course, when they become weak from illness or when they are young, they become prey to strong predators such as lions.
So, you can say that most animals in the wild don’t have any disliking for elephants as such.
But do you know who the most serious threat to elephants is?
We, humans. Yes. There are tons of incidents of senseless hunting of humans. They do this under the name of the ivory trade.
Of course, these days, elephants are being protected by the government. There have been several restrictions against ivory production.
But that doesn’t mean people have stopped killing elephants for ivory. The crime is still there. Only the frequency has decreased.
Note: This elephant fact for kids is very saddening and heartbreaking. This may make your kid upset and have a heavy heart.
So, tell them this fact only if you think they are ready to hear this. But then it is also important for your kid to know what’s going on in the jungle to learn when and where to raise their voices against the wrong.
14. Elephants Don’t Die in Their Graveyards
Well, I’m not sure if graveyards for elephants exist or not!
There is not any specific place where they go to die. But they seem interested in dead elephants’ bones if they somehow come across one.
Maybe they want to show their last respects.
15. Elephants Use Mud in the Name of Sunscreen
You are not the only one worried about your skin. Elephants fall under the same category too!
But of course, that doesn’t mean they use the sunscreens available in the market for humans. They have something for their type. And that, too, is natural and easily available for the elephants to use in huge amounts.
So, the thing that elephants use as sunscreen is mud!
They slather themselves in mud. How do they do it?
They make use of their trunks, get the mud in them and spray it all over their body. They take a bath in mud.
Do you know how mud helps them apart from being their sunscreen and offering protection from the sun?
Well, mud works as a protection against bugs and ticks too.
Isn’t that amazing?
16. Elephants Don’t Sweat
Did you know that elephants don’t sweat as we do?
So, how do they maintain their body temperature?
Well, they have many veins and capillaries in their ears. They help the elephants by filtering hot blood in the arteries. Not only that, they send cool blood to elephants’ bodies too.
This way, the body temperature of elephants is maintained.
17. Elephants Use Their Ears to Scare Off Their Attacker
When an elephant thinks they have been attacked by someone or if any other animals seem to attack them, they use its ears to frighten them. How?
They try to appear larger and scare the attacker by spreading their ears.
18. There are About 1,00000 Muscles in An Elephant’s Trunk
The trunk of an elephant is an extended portion of its nose and upper lips. They can twist as well as bend their trunks with ease.
When it comes to the weight of a trunk, it can be around one hundred and forty kg. And two meters is its measurement.
Did I tell you how an elephant’s trunk helps them in breathing and many other things?
The following are some of them.
- Elephants use their trunks to lift as well as move their offspring.
- They use it to bring food and water to their mouths.
- If the elephants come in contact with the unfamiliar ground, they use their trunk to beat on it. This is how they check if it is strong enough for them to move around on it.
- They use it to make a sound that is audible to other elephants so they can communicate with each other.
- They break trees and branches with their trunk.
- Did you know that the trunk of an elephant can hold water? Yes, and that, too, is about six liters.
- They sprinkle water on themselves with their trunks while taking a bath.
- If an elephant senses any danger, they raise its trunk to smell and make out what kind of threat it is
19. Elephants Have Highly Sensitive Skin
From the overall looks of an elephant, you might have already understood how thick of skin an elephant has. Right?
But do you know that certain areas in an elephant’s body are way thinner than the other parts?
Those sensitive areas include the skin near its eyes, ears, shoulders, and chest.
I already said how elephants love rolling in muddy water, isn’t it? All because they want to protect themselves from the harsh rays of the sun.
The little ones in an elephant group are protected from the sun too. The females in the group shadow them so that no direct rays from the sun can affect them.
Did I tell you how sensitive an elephant’s skin is?
They are so sensitive that they can sense it even when a fly sits on them!
Have you noticed wrinkles in an elephant’s skin?
They are there for a reason. They help the elephants to maintain their body temperature. How?
When an elephant goes into the water, these wrinkles expand. As there is more skin surface now, they can absorb more moisture. They help in keeping the elephants cool by trapping water. So, the body of an elephant remains cool even when there is no water.
The color of an elephant’s skin determines its descent too.
If you compare African elephants with Asian elephants, the latter have finer skin. Also, it can be colorless, other than the white spots on their forehead and ears.
20. Elephants Don’t Have an Equal Number of Toes on Each Foot
As you have seen in pictures or the zoo, elephants have four feet – two back feet and two in the front.
But did you know that they don’t share the same number of toes?
For example, while Asian elephants have four toes on their back feet, African elephants, on the other hand, have only three.
Regarding toes on their front feet, the African ones have four toes, and the Asian ones have five.
As elephants have high shoulders, their front legs seem shorter than their back legs.
21. Look at the Footprint of The Elephant to Know Their Gender and Age
If you find the footprints to be more of a round shape, then know that the elephant is female. And if you find the footprints to be more of an oval shape, know that it is a male elephant.
You can check the footprints of an elephant to know their age too!
If you see that the footprints are well-defined, you can say they belong to some young elephants.
On the contrary, if you see that the footprints are not so well defined, you can say that they belong to some older elephants. This is because their footprints have become worn out and undefined.
22. Male Elephants Have Longer Tusks, and Female Elephants Have Shorter Tusks
Don’t you think that the curved white teeth that come out of an elephant’s mouth, known as tusks, make them look all the mightier?
Ivory is what they are made of.
If I talk about male African elephants, their tusks are large and long. On the contrary, African female elephants have tusks so short that you can hardly see them.
The tusks of male elephants are thicker, longer, and heavier than their female counterparts.
In the case of Asian elephants, only the male ones have tusks. But when it comes to their females, they have tusk-like teeth that are small. It is called tushes.
There is no certain age when the tusks of an elephant grow. It takes all their life to grow.
While some humans are right-handed, others are left-handed. Right?
In the same way, elephants also prefer either of their two tusks. However, they tend to like shorter ones. Why? Because they can use it more easily in their everyday life.
Following are some uses of the tusks.
- Carry heavy things or loads
- Peel off trees’ bark
- Defend themselves and fight
- Make holes in the ground in search of minerals, food, and salts
- Clean debris
23. Elephants Cannot See Objects More Than Twenty Meters Away from Them
The eyes of an elephant are about 1.5 inches in diameter.
When it comes to the eyesight of elephants, it could be better. For example, they cannot see objects more than twenty meters away from them.
Elephants have long eyelashes that protect their eyes from dirt and sand. They have three eyelids. One upper, one lower, and one vertically across their eyes.
This third eyelid protects their eyes from daily functions such as dusting, bathing, and feeding.
When they grow up, some elephants develop a ring-like thing in white around the iris. Of course, this doesn’t affect their vision in any way. Instead, it gives them good peripheral vision.
24. An Elephant’s Brain is Four Times More Than a Human
Did you know how intelligent elephants are?
A lot more than you can imagine. And when it comes to the size of their brain, it is four times more than humans. It is considered the largest among all the mammals on earth.
Male elephants have bigger brains than female ones. But size doesn’t matter because female elephants are equal to or smarter than males.
Now don’t start thinking that their brain takes up a lot of space in their entire body because of their huge size; that is not the reality.
In reality, their brains take up just a small amount of space at the back of their skulls.
25. Elephants Have Good Control Over Their Tails
The tail of an elephant is 1.3 meters long on average. They have coarse skin on their tail and hair resembling wire.
They can control their tail well. And they mainly use it to ward off flies and insects.
26. The Teeth of An Elephant Start Developing from The Back of Its Mouth Toward the Front
The teeth of elephants are large and flat – perfect for chewing grass and plants. And they start developing from the back of their mouth toward the front.
The fun part about their teeth is that they can use just two at a time while they have a total of twenty-four teeth.
The teeth of Asian elephants have ridges that are parallel, while the ridges of African elephants come in the shape of diamonds.
27. Elephants Have Shock Absorbers on Their Feet
Do you know what the secret behind an elephant moving so noiselessly is?
Well, they have fatty connective tissues in their feet. These work as shock absorbers. Hence, least to no sound while moving around.
Elephants can walk stably on the ground, despite their huge structure – all thanks to the pits and ridges on their feet.
28. Elephants Live and Survive in the Natural Habitat
There are no predators for elephants. They live for roughly 60 – 70 years and need a lot of lands to live and thrive as they have enormous sizes.
Elephants require a favorable climate to live in addition to water and food to survive. Since African and Asian climates are best for them, the majority of elephants are found on both of these continents.
Elephants are herd animals. They live in different ways as males and females. Males like to live alone, and females like to live with other females group, usually their mothers, aunts, and others.
The oldest female in the group generally takes control. On the outside of their groups, female elephants interact with male elephants or with other female elephants.
Between the ages of 12 and 15, males typically leave the herd. To get the attention of the female elephant, males must compete with other males. Most of the time, the older elephant triumphs over the younger ones.
29. Elephants Are Now Considered To Be Endangered
Elephants’ ivory tusks are the object of hunting. In addition, the destruction of vegetation, particularly in Asia, has eliminated the natural habitat of elephant species. It prevents them from expanding, growing, and thriving.
Due to their habitat loss and hunting, elephants are presently regarded as endangered species. According to worldwildlife.org, the African elephants have decreased from 3 million square miles in 1979 to slightly 1 million square miles in 2007.
More Elephant Facts for Kids
Did you enjoy the above mentioned facts about elephants? Do you want to know more about them to make them more interesting to your kids?
Following are some more awesome facts about elephants that your kids will love to know about!
- When a baby elephant is born, they are blind.
- Elephants are the one and only animals that have chins.
- Just as we greet our family and friends when we meet, elephants do the same. They have greeting ceremonies for other elephants returning to their group after a significant time.
- The teeth of an elephant can fall out and then grow multiple times again throughout its life.
- The sense of smell of an elephant is very strong. They can even sense and detect water as far as twelve miles away.
- The trunk of an elephant can sense the shape, size, and temperature of any object.
- Elephants are so intelligent that they can identify themselves in front of a mirror.
- Elephants can’t gallop, trot or jump, but they can swim.
- Elephants are very emotional and intelligent. They can express their feelings of compassion and grief.
- They are playful and quick learners.
- When an elephant becomes a mother, they appoint many babysitters who take care of their little one. During that time, the mother elephant goes out to eat enough to be able to feed her baby.
The Major Differences Between Asian Elephants and African Elephants
Can you differentiate between an Asian and an African elephant? Do you know what the main things to look for are?
In this section, I have discussed all that. You can now tell which one is which type. All you need is to read the following comparison between the two types of elephants.
- The shape of an African elephant’s head is rounder than its Asian type. It is twin-domed. If you look closely, you will see a mild dent in the middle.
- The skin of an African elephant is full of wrinkles, and it is looser compared to the Asian ones. This is because the latter has fewer wrinkles and softer and smoother skin than the former.
- The ears of African elephants are larger than those of Asian ones. People often say that their ears are similar to the shape of Africa. It is so huge that it can even cover their neck.
As the climate of Africa is extremely hot, the large ears of elephants help them stay cool.
The ears of Asian elephants, on the other hand, have the shape of India’s map. That is what people say. They are curvy and small in size. After all, they live in a much cooler climate than in Africa.
- Yes, both these kinds of elephants are herbivores. But when it comes to their regular diet, African ones live mainly on leaves from trees, whereas Asian ones live mainly on grass.
- African elephants have concave-shaped backs. On the contrary, Asian elephants have erect or convex-shaped backs.
- Coming to the tip of elephants’ trunks, the African ones have two fingers. But in the case of Asian elephants, they have one finger.
- The number of ribs that an elephant has varies from one elephant to another. But when it is an African elephant, it can have up to twenty-one pairs. On the contrary, when it is, an Asian elephant can have about twenty pairs.
- If you look closely at an elephant’s belly and find out that it is bent towards the hind legs, then know that it is an African elephant.
This is because the belly of Asian elephants are generally loose in the center, or they can be straight.
- The highest point of an African elephant is its shoulder, whereas it is the back of an Asian elephant.
Now that you know all the amazing facts about elephants and the differences between the two types of elephants, you might not have many questions left.
But still, I have come up with this section where all the frequently asked questions about elephants are answered.
Come, let’s see if your question about elephants is on this list too.
Baby elephants are known as calves. This is because they are the biggest land animals on earth. But still, when they give birth to a calf, it weighs only about 200 to 300 kg.
Governments of different countries are taking strict measures to save this huge and playful animal. The trade of ivory, as well as products made of ivory, is banned in many nations. Also, the hunting of elephants is declared illegal. How can you contribute to this? Well, you can always say “no” to products and jewelry made of ivory. If you want, you can donate to NGOs that have made their mark in working toward the well-being and preservation of elephants.
According to a trusted source, there were three to five million African elephants in the 20th century. But, at present, there are only around 470,000 elephants.
Elephants are very lovable despite their huge size. And they are the favorite animal of many kids and adults.
Did you find the elephant facts for kids interesting? Do you want to know more about elephants?
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments!
Hi, I am Claudia, I run TheQueenMomma’s content creation team, personally focusing on topics which add joy to people’s life. You would usually see me writing on topics like Jokes, Riddles, Truth & Dare as well as Baby Names etc.
In my professional career, I have a Bachelor’s and Master’s in sociology and specialize in media and crime. Once I finished my education, I began my career working as a journalist, reporting on various topics like crime, justice and family law. Even though I valued journalism, I came to the realization that I wanted to have a more immediate impact in people’s lives as well as bring joy to them.