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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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!

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 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!

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.

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.

How Much Does An Elephant Trunk Weigh?

An elephant’s trunk weighs around 140 kg (depending on the elephant), making it exceptionally heavy. The trunk is probably the most distinguishing feature of an elephant; it can hold up to 12 liters of water at one time.

The elephant uses its trunk for smelling, drinking water, breathing underwater, and picking or foraging for food. They also use their trunks as a hand – gripping and holding items with them.

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.

Which Animals Prey On Elephants?

Lions, hyenas, and crocodiles all prey on baby elephants. Adult elephants have very few natural predators, though lions have been known to brazenly hunt elephants when desperate.

Do All Elephants Have Tusks?

Both male and female African elephants have tusks, but only male Asian elephants have tusks. Tusks are used as a tool for digging, gathering food, and defending themselves. Elephant tusks are highly prized in the ivory trade, resulting in illegal elephant poaching. IFAW is working in Asia and Africa to reduce market supply and consumer demand for elephant ivory, where the demand is highest

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.

Conservation Status

The decision to recognize African elephants as two separate species is seen as an important step for conservation, as it highlights the different challenges that each species faces. Scientists hope that the listing will bring more attention to forest elephants, which have often been overlooked by governments and donors when grouped together with more visible savanna elephants.  

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