It is very easy to distinguish between elephants. And like us humans, elephants have feelings and show them too.
But hearing with your feet is hard to imagine. Or who knows their air conditioning? Elephants as gardeners? And much more . . . let yourself be surprised 😊

How do I differentiate between the different elephant species?

Elephants make up a family of proboscis. The biologist differentiates between 3 types of elephant, with 2 types of African elephant.

African elephant

large ears (up to 2m) - Shape like AFRICA

→ bull:

    • about 3.20-4m high
    • about 5-7.5t heavy
    • Tusks up to 3m and up to 100kg in weight (grow in length and width for a lifetime)

→ cow:

    • about 2.50m high
    • about 2.8t heavy
    • shorter tusks (grow slowly and only elongate after the age of 15)

Ears: large, up to 2m long – shape like Africa
Skin: wrinkled
Trunk: 2 gripper fingers
Forefeet: 4 toes
Hind feet: 3 toes
Move: Hollow back
Forehead: sloping
Habitat: Savannah, forest, desert
Nourishment: Leaf food

– Desert elephants (Mali, Gourma, Namibia) belong to the forest elephants
– Forest elephants (forests of Central Africa)

Asian Elephant

small ears - shape like INDIA

→ bull:

    • about 2.7m high
    • up to 5.4t in weight
    • pronounced long tusks up to 3m + 100kg in weight and grow in length and width for a lifetime

→ cow:

    • about 2.2m high
    • up to 2.7t in weight
    • Remnants or no tusks

Ears: – small – shape like India
more smooth, often pink spots
Trunk : 1 gripper finger
Forefeet: 5 toes
Hind feet: 4 toes
Move: Humpback
Forehead: 2 humps
Habitat: Forest, grasslands
Nourishment: grass

– Sri Lankan Elephant (Sri Lanka)
– Sumatran elephant (Sumatra)
– Borneo pygmy elephant (smallest Eli in the north of Borneo)
– Indian elephant (Asian continent)

Are elephants gardeners?

Yes, the forest needs elephants and the elephants need forest. They find their food sources there and it serves as a habitat for the rearing of their young.

The pachyderms provide valuable services for the protection of forests and species.
Example: When the elephants uproot a tree, a hole is created in the jungle. Or, as can be seen in the photo on the left, the elephant partially felled the tree with the help of the lianas in order to get to the canopy and tore a large hole in the process. The ground plants receive sunlight and grow much faster.

More information here in the source:

Hear with your feet?

Yes – elephants hear with their forefeet and that over huge distances. The deep rumble tones (5 – 20 Hz) spread not only over the air, but also over the ground. Even though they are as loud as a truck, we humans cannot hear these sounds.

There are 2 types of hearing with your feet:

1. Nerve cells in the soles of the feet absorb the vibrations and send them to the brain via nerves.
2. A fat wedge in the foot picks up the vibrations and transmits them to the ears via the bones.

The sounds are broadcast at a speed of around 309m / s through the air and at 248-264m / s through the ground.

But watch out! Not all elephants can speak and understand each other, because there are different languages and dialects in the elephant kingdom.


The skeleton of the elephant

The skeleton of the elephant consists of over 300 bones. Although the elephant is very heavy, it has amazing agility. So he can move forward and backward, swim and run. At the same time, he can reach a decent pace and easily keep up with people.
Elephants can stand for long periods of time, using very little energy. Sometimes they love to take a short nap standing up, but they also like to lay down sometimes. In total, they sleep between 2 to 6 hours within 24 hours.

Elephants, like us humans, have cartilage that points upward. Their discs have sharp bony protrusions that widen upward. Thus, the discs and tissue protect the elephant’s back from above.
Constantly carrying heavy weight can cause the spine to buckle. The damage is irreparable. You can imagine how the gray giants suffer.

These physical deformities are common, according to the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (

WFFT) is common in elephants used for tourist rides. The WFFT published the photos of Pai Lin and Thung Ngern to raise awareness of how much elephants can suffer in the equestrian industry.

(c) WFFT-- left: deformed spine - right: healthy spine

The elephant trunk - a multitool


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