AFrican Elephants can range from 5,000 pounds to more than 14,000 pounds (6,350 kilograms). According to the World Wildlife Fund, an average African elephant weighs about 12,000 pounds (5,443 kilograms). Even a baby African elephant can weigh between 200-300 pounds (90.7-136 kilograms) at birth!

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.

The elephant is one of the most easily recognisable animals in the whole wide world. African elephants and Asian elephants are true gentle giants. Many of us have seen them in zoos, and some of us have even been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them in their natural habitats. A gentle giant of nature, the elephant is a truly amazing creature, that without the help of conservationists and charities, could be completely wiped out within a matter of decades. The sad truth is that their habitats are being crushed to make way for infrastructure projects, and poachers are still taking aim to at these beautiful beasts to meet the demands of the illegal ivory trade

General Elephant Facts

Did you know that the word “Elephant” is actually latin for “huge Arch”? These animals certainly are huge and impressive beasts. In fact, the elephant is the largest living land mammal in the world. A male elephant can grow up to 4 metres in height and weigh up to 7 tonnes; whilst their females counterparts can still weigh in at a mere 3.5 tonnes.

To feed an animal of such gigantic proportions takes a lot of food. Their daily food intake is almost as much as 4-7% of their body weight. When you are an elephant, that equates to finding and eating an awful lot of food. As you would expect, all that food needs to be digested and dozed off, which is why our elephant friends can deposit upwards of 150 kg of dung daily! Eew!

Elephants are herbivores and only eat grasses, herbs, fruit, plants and trees. Their healthy, vegetarian diet is obviously good for them as the average elephant has a life span of around 70 odd years, a bit like we do

Despite their size, they are actually pretty nimble and can walk up to 195 km per day, although they usually only average is only 25 km on a daily basis. They can also run faster than you would expect, easily reaching speeds of 40 mph, which is a lot faster than us humans can run.

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. Most people believe that there are only two species of elephant in the word, but in fact there are three:

African savannah, Loxodonta africana

African forest, Loxodonta cyclotis

Asian, Elephas maximus

Size Of African Elephant

African elephants are the largest of all land animals, adult males weighing between 1,800 and 6,300 kg (2 and 7 tons/ 4,000 and 14,000 lb.). Females are smaller, weighing between 2,700 and 3,600 kg (3 and 4 tons/ 6,000 and 8,000 lb.). Shoulder height ranges between three and four m (9.8 and 13.1 ft.).

Adult male Asian elephants weigh between 1,800 and 4,500 kg (2 and 5 tons/ 4,000 and 10,000 lb.), with females weighing slightly less. Shoulder height ranges between 2 and 3.5 m (6.6 and 11.5 ft.).

What Is The African Elephant?

African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They are slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. (Asian elephants have smaller, rounded ears.)

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.

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.

Are Elephants Really The Largest Living Land Animal?

Yes, the African and Asian elephants are the largest living land animals. Males can stand up to 13 feet (4 meters) high at the shoulder.

What Is The Smallest Species Of Elephant?

The Borneo elephant, also known as the Bornean pygmy elephant, is the smallest species of elephant by size. Found in Asia, adult Bornean pygmy elephants stand at less than 5 feet (1.5 meters) high. These elephants can weigh up to 4,000 pounds (1,800 kilograms).

Why Did Elephants Evolve Such Large Ears?

Elephants do not have sweat glands. Instead, they use their large ears, which have a high concentration of veins, to keep cool. By flapping their ears, elephants cool the blood in their ears, which is then transported to the rest of the body.

How Does An Elephant Use Its Trunk?

An elephant’s trunk is like a long, flexible nose. The trunk is used for drinking, bathing, smelling, breathing, trumpeting, and grabbing things. Elephants will also use their trunks to show affection.


How Many Babies Do Elephants Have?


Typically, elephants only give birth to one calf at a time, although twins do sometimes occur. In her lifetime (elephants can live for up to 70 years in the wild!), a female elephant can give birth to as many as 12 calves. Not as many as babies you might think? Well that’s because the average gestation (pregnancy) period for a female elephant is a whopping 22 months. That’s a long time!


How Many Teeth Do Elephants Have?


Elephants usually have 26 teeth at any one time. Throughout their lives, elephants have six sets of teeth that grow one set after another. By the time they reach their 50’s, most elephant have started to use their final set which is needed to last for the rest of their life.



How Thick Is Elephant Skin?


The skin of an elephant can be up to 2.5 cm thick in places. Despite this, elephants have very sensitive skin and use mud and dust baths to protect their skin from burning in the sun, and to get rid of skin parasites.


How Far Do Elephants Walk In A Day?


Despite their massive size, elephants are actually pretty nimble and can walk up to 195 km per day, although they usually only average is only 25 km on a daily basis.


How Much Does An Elephant’s Brain Weigh?


Elephants are extremely intelligent creatures and an elephant’s brain can weigh as much as 4-6 kg. No wonder they say that an elephant never forgets!

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