There is more to elephant than size

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Wednesday, 9 July 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • An elephant will pull a clump of grass from the ground with its trunk and beat it against its leg to shake to dirt away.
  • Adult elephants consume as much as 130 kilos of food per day.
  • Elephants have been found swimming kilometres from shore in the Indian Ocean.
  • According to circus superstition, elephant trunks must be raised in photos for good luck.
  • Elephants have been known to die of broken hearts if a mate dies. They refuse to eat and will lay down, shedding tears until they starve to death. They refuse all human help.
  • The woolly mammoth, extinct since the Ice Age, had tusks almost five metres long.
  • Elephants like eating leaves from the top branches of trees. They push down the trees with their large heads and bodies to get the leaves and take the bark by scraping it with their sharp tusks.
  • A herd of elephants is typically composed of up to 10 females and their young. All of the females in the herd are directly related to the matriarch, who is typically the oldest and largest female.
  • Young elephants stay with their families for many years. It is not unusual for a herd of elephants to live together all of their lives.
  • The male elephants leave the herd when they are 12 years old.
  • Herds have been known to travel 15 km or farther to look for food and water.
  • Elephants are capable of making low frequency sounds that are below the human range of hearing. This allows wandering individuals within the herd as well as several different herds to stay in direct contact over distances of many kilometres.
  • Elephants act as seed disperses by their fecal matter. It is often carried below ground by dung beetles and termites, causing the soil to become more nutritious.
  • The paths created by elephants act as firebreaks and rainwater conduits.
  • An elephant's journey thru high grass provides food for birds by disturbing small reptiles, amphibians and insects.
  • 22 September is Elephant Appreciation Day.

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