10 Trivial Facts About Elephants
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10 Trivial Facts About Elephants

Here are ten little known facts about the largest terrestrial animal still living, the elephant.

The elephant is perceived to be the largest land vertebrate, such that a portion of male elephants can grow up to thirteen feet tall, twenty four feet long, and weigh around nine thousand kg. The elephant is characterized by a pair of tusks (long ivory teeth), a pair of large floppy ears and an extremely long trunk. Here are ten little known facts about this gentle giant:

1. African Elephants are the largest land mammals known in existence, and the largest ever elephant was an elephant bull killed by a Hungarian engineer by the name of Jose J. Fenykovi in Angola, 1956, measuring at around thirteen feet tall and weighing approximately twelve thousand kg.

african elephant

The African elephant

2. Due to their formidable size and herding tendency, elephants have no known natural enemies, though predators such as lions, crocodiles and hyenas are known to target calves and the dying. Humans perhaps serve as an elephant’s main problem, what with all the poaching still going on with the weapons available today for their ivory tusks in exchange for money in the black market, resulting in the declining elephant population at present.

elephant herd

An elephant herd during a drinking session

3. Elephants are the second tallest animals in the animal kingdom, with the first being giraffes.

4. Joseph Carey Merrick (1862 – 1890), a man disfigured severely by unusual growths on the man’s body that earned him the moniker ‘The Elephant Man’ while working as a circus freak, was at first, during his lifetime, diagnosed with elephantiasis, a lymphatic system disorder characterized by swollen parts of the body; in 1976, he was speculated to have contracted neurofibromatosis, a disorder typified by tumors growing on the nervous system. This speculation was later proven wrong by photos of Mr. Merrick which showed no obvious signs of neurofibromatosis. Finally, a radiologist by the name of Amita Sharma was able to rightly determine Joseph Merrick’s condition as Proteus Syndrome, a rare hereditary disorder causing abnormal skin and bone growth and normally accompanied by tumors all over the body. It was only recognized in 1979.

joseph merrick the elephant man

The Elephant Man, Joseph Merrick

5. Elephants are among a portion of animals incapable of jumping, alongside other animals such as sloths and rhinoceros.

6. An elephant’s brain is also perceived to be the largest among any other terrestrial animals, such that it is 3 to 4 times larger than that of an average human.

7. Due to their small eyes, elephants express poor eyesight with a range of a mere 25 feet.

elephant eye

8. African elephants have two ‘fingers’ at the tip of their trunks, while their Asian counterparts only have one.

9. Elephants are the only animals with four knees.

10. Elephant Appreciation Day falls on the 22nd of September.

elephant appreciation day

 

References:

1. http://www.eleaid.com/index.php?page=elephantfacts

2. http://rarediseases.about.com/cs/proteussyndrome/a/031301.htm

3. http://www.elephant.se/elephant_facts.php

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Comments (5)

Glad to know these facts, thank you.

I never new about the finger differences on the trunk. Great write dread

Shen Shen

I don't even know there is an Elephant Appreciation Day. Interesting facts here. Nice one.

Liked this one again Dread, wonderful info.

I'm fairly glad they can't jump at the size they are! Great post :-)

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