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 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 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
Where Do Elephants Come From?
The elephant originated in Africa and Asia, the only regions where wild populations are found today. The earliest elephant fossil remains date back 4 million years ago.
How Much Does An African Elephant Weigh?
African elephants are the giants, even by elephant standards. An adult male can carry a full 6 tons with gentle grace. Generally, the females are slightly more petite; however, they can still weigh in at a whopping 3.6 tons or more sometimes.
How do they acquire such impressive robustness on a diet of plants in terrain where food can sometimes be scarce? Well, they graze all day, every day.
In fact, grazing is such a large part of their daily habits they typically spend about 12-18 hours per day foraging for food. Their bodies are well-adapted to sourcing nutrition in unusual places, enabling them to survive in conditions that can range from arid and dusty to lush woodlands.
What Is An Asian Elephant’s Weight (In Tons)?
It weighs a little less than its African cousin, reaching a maximum weight of four or five tons (as opposed to the African elephant’s six or seven tons). An adult male Asian elephant can start at around two tons.
The female Asian elephants are different. They weigh anywhere from two tons to three-and-a-half tons. Although this may seem a lot less than the African elephant, don’t be fooled; they still weigh more than some cars on the market today.
The Asian elephant is classified as an endangered species, with between forty thousand and fifty thousand remaining in their natural habitats.
How Much Does An Elephant Weigh?
The largest male elephants can weigh up to 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms). For comparison, an average male human weighs about 180 pounds (82 kilograms). How much do elephants weigh at birth? African elephants can weigh up to nearly 200 pounds when born!
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.
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.
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.
How Much Does An Elephant Eat A Day?
Elephants are gigantic animals and this means that they need to find an eat an awful lot of food. Their daily food intake is almost as much as 4-7% of their body weight. African elephants can eat as much as 330 Ibs (150 kg) of food a day.
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 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.