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9 Crazy Facts about the World’s Largest Land Animal

As Boundless Journeys’ Safari Specialist, I’ve had amazing opportunities to venture into some of the wildest places in southern and eastern Africa. Not long ago, I returned from a week in Rwanda and got up-close to the endangered mountain gorillas!

But this email isn’t about gorillas (as unbelievable as that was), it’s about elephants—one of my favorite animals to observe while on safari because they are never still. Even when at rest, they gently fan their ears. In spite of their impressive size, they move with such grace, adeptly plucking at leaves and grass with their incredible trunks. Elephants are really fascinating creatures, so I’d like to share some interesting facts about them:

  1. By waving a foot over the ground, they can pick up the distant rumblings of other elephants miles away.
  2. They like sweet things and dislike sour.
  3. Females have smaller brains but are smarter—they teach their young about elephant life.
  4. When males are old enough, moms push them out of the herd. Often you’ll see groups of “bachelor” elephant bulls hanging around.
  5. The wrinkles in their skin retain water to help keep them cool.
  6. Only 60% of what an elephant eats is digested, which is why they spend up to 18 hours a day just eating!
  7. Tusks are like fingernails in that they just keep growing and also like teeth because they contain nerves.
  8. Elephants have the longest pregnancy of any mammal at 22 months!
  9. They have six sets of teeth and by the time they are in their 50s, they are usually on their last set—that’s almost one set of teeth every decade!
Curious about other safari things? Read some of our blog posts on Africa like 10 FAQs About SafarisWhat to Expect on a Luxury Safari, or Botswana vs. Tanzania.

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