The largest mammals in the world

Elephants are the largest mammals in the world. There are two species of these majestic animals: the Asian elephant and the African elephant. All African elephants (male and female) have tusks. Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants and only the males have tusks.

Elephants have unique physical characteristics: a long trunk, large ears and thick, wide legs, plus they have a personality and charisma that make them fascinating.

Fun facts

  • Elephants live in matriarchal groups, that is, a female is the one who leads them.
  • Tusks are very important to elephants, they allow them to defend themselves, lift objects, gather food and remove bark from trees to eat. In times of drought, elephants dig holes for water in dry riverbeds using their tusks, feet and trunks.
  • The elephants follow a regulation implemented by the matriarch. For example, they extend their trunks in greeting.
  • Elephants have no natural predators. However, lions sometimes hunt young or weak elephants. The main danger to elephants is from humans, through poaching, and changes to their natural habitat.
  • Male elephants leave the herd at the age of 13 and live alone.
  • Elephants are herbivores and can spend up to 16 hours a day collecting leaves, branches and roots. On a typical day, an elephant can consume about 150 pounds of plants and drink 40 gallons of water.
  • In addition to greeting, elephants use their trunks to drink water, pick up objects, and bathe. After a bath, the elephants cover themselves with mud to protect themselves from the sun.