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7 lesser-known facts about elephant

With elephant as enchanting and imagination-capturing a species as they are, there are certain facts about them that are known by almost every person on this planet that is above a certain age. The elephant’s memory is almost better known than the fact of it’s living in Africa. The fact that its hearing is amazing is, perhaps owing to the evidence exhibited by its huge ears, similarly well-known.

There are also facts, lesser-known than those above, that you, our readership – brought here by your love and passion for these creatures – will be intimate with even if the majority of other people are not.

You know of the elephant’s capacity to create and maintain complex social ties. You know about the complex cooling system – including the close proximity of a dense blood vessel network in their ears – that they use in order to stay well-adjusted in the savannah. You know of the awe-inspiring dexterity of their trunks.

With that said, these creatures are complex and unique. There are oddities to them wherever you choose to look. There is, as a result, no shortage of lesser-known facts about their behaviour and physical characteristics.

So, for those of you that are informed but still interested, we’ve this list of facts about elephant that, we hope, will still genuinely surprise you. It’s a list of the definitely lesser-known facts about elephant.

Elephants and thunderstorms

Elephant have been observed displaying unusual behaviour before the onset of thunderstorms. They can become agitated, trumpet loudly, and seek shelter. It is believed that they may be able to sense changes in barometric pressure or low-frequency sounds associated with approaching storms. They may also be noticing electrical disturbances in the atmosphere.

We really don’t know what it is that elephant seem to be noticing. Without that knowledge, we obviously have less of an idea as to what exactly about incoming thunder causes them to react with what we perceive as agitated behaviour.

Regardless, elephant can sense oncoming storms and that’s a cool fact in and of itself.

Elephant have got some fascinating feet

Elephant have unique feet that are not only large but also highly specialized. Each foot – too easily dismissed as one massive, padded unit –  is actually composed of five toe-like structures called “phalanges” that are covered in thick, cushion-like pads. These pads distribute the elephant’s weight and allow them to move silently, making them incredibly agile despite their size.

Elephant have been known to use tools

While tool use is often associated with primates, elephant have also been observed using tools. In some instances, they have been seen using sticks or branches to scratch themselves in hard-to-reach places. Occasionally, they’ll use a branch to swat flies away.

This writer has even seen an elephant throw a stick at a group of sun-bathing hippos in an attempt to make the hippos live the riverside beach and give the incoming elephant herd a place to access the water from.

The elephant’s atypical reproductive organ structure

The uterus of a female elephant is positioned in a horizontal or transverse orientation, unlike the vertical or tilted position found in most other mammals. This horizontal placement is believed to be an adaptation to support the weight of the elephant’s massive body and the developing foetus during pregnancy.

Unlike many mammals, the ovaries of female elephants are not directly attached to the uterus. Instead, they are located near the kidneys and connected to the uterus by long uterine tubes. This arrangement allows for more flexibility in the reproductive system and enables elephants to have a more complex reproductive cycle.

The elephant has a wider range of vocal variations than we can ever understand

While elephants are commonly associated with their trumpeting calls, they have a wide range of vocalizations that go beyond this iconic sound. These include chirps, rumbles, growls, and even purrs. These vocal variations are used for different social interactions and can convey various emotions and messages.

Obviously, with the well-established fact of elephant being able to hear further and to greater range than we can, this other fact opens up the possibility that conversation between elephant could be a lot more varied than we could ever imagine.



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