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Young, African bull elephant, Kruger National Park, South AfricaAfrican elephant (Loxodonta africana) in TanzaniaAn Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) named Tamar and her 13-month-old baby, Gabi, at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis)Two Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
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Elephant Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Loxodonta Africana
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
2m - 3.6m (7ft - 12ft)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
3,000kg - 5,400kg (6,500lbs - 12,000lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
40km/h (25mph)
How long the animal lives for
55 - 70 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Rainforest and flood plains
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Grass, Fruit, Roots
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Hyena, Wildcats
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Large body size and long trunk

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Elephant Location

Map of Elephant Locations


There are two primary species of elephant:

  • Asian Elephant
  • African Elephant

There are numerous subspecies of the Asian elephant, these are the Indian Elephant, Sri Lankan Elephant, Sumatran, Borneo Elephant.

African elephants are larger than Asian elephants and have two subspecies which are the African Bush Elephant and African Forest Elephant.

The elephant is the only known mammal that, despite having knee joints, cannot jump! This is thought to be primarily due to the elephant's sheer size but also because of the way that the elephant's legs are built, they are short and stocky to support the elephant's phenomenal weight.

Elephants are herbivores that spend around 22 hours eating! The elephant searches for green leaves in the tree tops but it is not uncommon for the elephant to tear down the tree to get the leaves.

One old elephant related myth is that elephants are afraid of mice. There are a number of theories from where this arose such as the size difference (elephants are one of the biggest land animals, mice are one of the smallest), the fear from the elephant that a mouse could crawl into the elephants trunk and nest, and the fact that mice have been known to crawl over elephants while they are sleeping so they can get to any left over food, are also viable possibilities. Whether or not elephants are actually scared of mice is unknown, however tests show that elephants are definitely not as comfortable with mice around as you might expect.

Elephant Foot Facts

  • The foot of an elephant has five toes that are buried in the flesh of their feet, with not all the toes of an elephant having toenails.
  • The foot of an elephant is formed in such a way that when elephants walk, they are effectively walking on tip toe.
  • The underneath of elephants feet is made up of tough and fatty tissue that acts a shock absorber so that elephants can walk more quietly.
  • The elephant uses its enormous feet in which to collect small amounts of water and to dig up roots out of the tough ground.
  • The foot of an elephant is about half the width of its shoulder, so scientists are able to tell the size of the elephant by looking at the footprint.

Elephant Teeth Facts

  • Elephants have 26 teeth in total which includes 24 molars in the mouth of the elephant and the elephant's tusks which are actually two incisors.
  • The molars in the mouth of the elephant replace themselves six times during their lives with the new molars being larger than the old ones.
  • The replacing molars in the mouth of the elephant push the old molars forward to let the new molars grow at the back of the elephant's mouth.
  • The elephant uses its tusks for digging, ripping bark from trees and foraging, as their tusks are essentially no different from normal teeth.
  • The teeth of the elephant are made from ivory, a strong compound that humans seem to have a lust for, but it has meant that countless elephants have been killed for their teeth alone.

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First Published: 4th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 04 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 04 Nov 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 04 Nov 2008]