The largest African elephants can stand in excess of 13 feet (4 meters) tall at the shoulder. How does an African elephant grow to be 13 feet tall and weigh over 14,000 pounds? By eating a lot! Scientists estimate that the largest elephants can eat more than 300 pounds of food in a single day.
The elephant is the largest land animal on the planet. There are three kinds of elephants with scientist recently splitting the African elephant into two distinct species. The three elephant species are African savanna (or bush), African forest and Asian elephant. Let’s take a look at all three to see how much these giant creatures weigh.
Although they were long grouped together as one species, scientists have determined that there are actually two species of African elephants—and that both are at risk of extinction. Savanna elephants are larger animals that roam the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, while forest elephants are smaller animals that live in the forests of Central and West Africa. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists savanna elephants as endangered and forest elephants as critically endangered.
Facts About Elephant Size
African elephants are the largest land animals in the world today. The largest African elephant ever recorded was found in Angola, rocking in at a massive 24,000 lb (11,000 kg), with a shoulder height of 3.96 meters (13.0 ft), and being at least a metre taller than the average male African elephant!
The average African elephant will grow to between 8.2 to 13 feet (2.5 to 4 meters) from shoulder to toe and weigh between 5,000 to 14,000 lbs. (2,268 to 6,350 kilograms), according to the National Geographic Male elephants can grow to be significantly larger than their female counterparts. Still a mighty animal, female elephants, or “Cows” only grow to somewhere around 9 and 13 feet and weigh from 6,000 to 8,000 pounds.
Both genders grow ivory tusks, which are actually elongated incisor teeth. However, the male’s tusks are longer and heavier, weighing between 110 and 175 pounds each. Females’ tusks weigh approximately 40 pounds each. African elephants are famous for their very large ears. Considered to be shaped much like the continent of Africa itself, the large surface area of their ears helps to keep them cool in the blazing hot African sun.
Where Do Elephants Come From?
There are three species of elephants in the world, and where each one can be found depends on the species.
In Africa, there are two species of elephant. The loxodonta africana African elephant lives in the African Savannah and in the Sahel desert in Mali. This is the biggest species of elephant in the world. The slightly smaller loxodonta cyclotis African elephant lives in the rainforests of Central and West Africa.
Where once elephants roamed across the whole of Africa, they are now limited to conservation areas and the Savannah. African and Asian elephants can currently be found in 37 African countries, and across 13 Asian countries.
The elephas maixmus species of elephant (Asian elephant) can be found in Nepal, India and Southeast Asia in scrub forests and rain forests.
How Much Does An Elephant Weigh?
Elephants generally weigh between 4,500 and 11,000 pounds on average. How large an elephant gets depends on which of the three elephant species it is. However, the largest elephant on record weighed 24,000 pounds (more on this below!), so in very rare cases they can weigh truly extraordinary weights! Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth, but let’s dig a little deeper into the weight of different elephant species.
How Many Elephants Are There In Africa And Why Are African Elephants Endangered?
There are now only an estimated 400,000 African elephants left in the wild. African elephants are endangered largely owing to man’s greed for ivory which had to elephants being hunted and killed for their valuable tusks. To give you an idea of just how many elephants are lost to the ivory trade, in the 1970’s there were 1.3 million elephants. Less than a third of that number are now left. African Forest Elephants living in the forests of the Basin are at the greatest risk from the threat of poachers than any other species and their numbers continue to steadily decline. Moreover, humans are responsible for huge habit loss of African elephants. As the human population in Africa increases, more and more land is converted to agriculture. A smaller habit has meant that elephants and humans are coming into contact with one another more than they did historically, and this is causing conflict. Elephants are very intelligent creature and sometimes raid farmers’ crop for food. This can lead to both humans and elephants being killed in the conflict.
How Much Does The Average Elephant Weigh?
African elephants are the largest land animals in the world today. The average African elephant will weigh between 5,000 to 14,000 lbs. (2,268 to 6,350 kg), according to the National Geographic. However, the largest African elephant ever recorded was found in Angola, rocking in at a massive 24,000 lb (11,000 kg). Male elephants can grow to be significantly larger than their female counterparts. Still a mighty animal, female elephants, or “Cows”, only grow to weigh from 6,000 to 8,000 pounds. Asian elephants tend to be a smaller than their African counterparts, weighing between 4,400 to 11,000 Ibs (2,000 to 5,000 kg).
How Tall Is An Elephant?
African elephants are the largest land animals in the world today. The average African elephant will grow to between 8.2 to 13 feet (2.5 to 4 m) tall, measured from shoulder to toe, according to the National Geographic.
Male elephants can grow to be significantly larger than their female counterparts. Still a mighty animal, female elephants, or “Cows”, only grow to somewhere between 9 and 13 feet.
Asian elephants are smaller and tend to reach a shoulder height of between 6.6 and 11.5 feet (2 and 3.5 m) tall.
Can An Elephant Go For Days Without Water?
Although elephants have large and thick bodies with little fat covering ideal for storing water, elephants are highly dependent on water sources. Even the desert elephant, suited for dry climates, can only go a maximum of 3 days without water. Just behind the tongue of an elephant is a small pouch called the pharyngeal pouch. This area, most commonly used by elephants to make a deep rumbling sound for communication, can store about a gallon of water. Elephants will also use their feet, trunks, and tusks to dig large holes in dry riverbeds and reach water sources.