The largest African elephants can stand in excess of 13 feet (4 meters) tall at the shoulder. How does an African elephant grow to be 13 feet tall and weigh over 14,000 pounds? By eating a lot! Scientists estimate that the largest elephants can eat more than 300 pounds of food in a single day.
Despite their huge size, African elephants are still smaller than the heaviest animal in the world. To find that animal, you’ll have to look to the sea. The water in the oceans of the world helps to support the incredible weight of the blue whale. With a length of up to 100 feet (30 meters) from head to tail, the largest blue whales can weigh in excess of 400,000 pounds (181,437 kilograms)! Just imagine how small you’d feel swimming next to that creature!
African elephants can range from 5,000 pounds to more than 14,000 pounds (6,350 kilograms). According to the World Wildlife Fund, an average African elephant weighs about 12,000 pounds (5,443 kilograms). Even a baby African elephant can weigh between 200-300 pounds (90.7-136 kilograms) at birth!
General Elephant Facts
Did you know that the word “Elephant” is actually latin for “huge Arch”? These animals certainly are huge and impressive beasts. In fact, the elephant is the largest living land mammal in the world. A male elephant can grow up to 4 metres in height and weigh up to 7 tonnes; whilst their females counterparts can still weigh in at a mere 3.5 tonnes. To feed an animal of such gigantic proportions takes a lot of food. Their daily food intake is almost as much as 4-7% of their body weight. When you are an elephant, that equates to finding and eating an awful lot of food. As you would expect, all that food needs to be digested and dozed off, which is why our elephant friends can deposit upwards of 150 kg of dung daily! Eew!
Elephants are herbivores and only eat grasses, herbs, fruit, plants and trees. Their healthy, vegetarian diet is obviously good for them as the average elephant has a life span of around 70 odd years, a bit like we do Despite their size, they are actually pretty nimble and can walk up to 195 km per day, although they usually only average is only 25 km on a daily basis. They can also run faster than you would expect, easily reaching speeds of 40 mph, which is a lot faster than us humans can run. Where once elephants roamed across the whole of Africa, they are now limited to conservation areas and the Savannah. African and Asian elephants can currently be found in 37 African countries, and across 13 Asian countries. Most people believe that there are only two species of elephant in the word, but in fact there are three:
- African savannah, Loxodonta africana
- African forest, Loxodonta cyclotis
- Asian, Elephas maximus
There are actually two very different species of African elephants living on the African continent, both very different in their culture and appearance. Elephants are gentle, intelligent creatures that must be protected to ensure that they remain part of our natural ecosystem for centuries to come.
Where Do Elephants Come From
There are three species of elephants in the world, and where each one can be found depends on the species. In Africa, there are two species of elephant. The loxodonta africana African elephant lives in the African Savannah and in the Sahel desert in Mali. This is the biggest species of elephant in the world. The slightly smaller loxodonta cyclotis African elephant lives in the rainforests of Central and West Africa. Where once elephants roamed across the whole of Africa, they are now limited to conservation areas and the Savannah. African and Asian elephants can currently be found in 37 African countries, and across 13 Asian countries. The elephas maixmus species of elephant (Asian elephant) can be found in Nepal, India and Southeast Asia in scrub forests and rain forests.
How Much Does An Elephant Weigh
African elephants are the largest land animals in the world today. The average African elephant will weigh between 5,000 to 14,000 lbs. (2,268 to 6,350 kg), according to the National Geographic. However, the largest African elephant ever recorded was found in Angola, rocking in at a massive 24,000 lb (11,000 kg).
Male elephants can grow to be significantly larger than their female counterparts. Still a mighty animal, female elephants, or “Cows”, only grow to weigh from 6,000 to 8,000 pounds. Asian elephants tend to be a smaller than their African counterparts, weighing between 4,400 to 11,000 Ibs (2,000 to 5,000 kg).
The largest male elephants can weigh up to 15,000 pounds (6,800 kilograms). For comparison, an average male human weighs about 180 pounds (82 kilograms). How much do elephants weigh at birth? African elephants can weigh up to nearly 200 pounds when born! Known as the world’s largest and heaviest land mammal, elephants can live for up to 60 to 70 years. The easiest way to tell species apart is by looking at their ears, but you may not be able to tell the male from the female since their genitals are hidden between their legs.
Their trunk has more than 150,000 muscles and is the most sensitive organ, often used to suck up water to drink. It holds around 8 liters! But, the question on everyone’s mind is, how much do these huge mammals weigh?
|Species||Average Adult Weight||Average Birth Weight|
|African Bush Elephant||~13000 lbs (6000 kg)||~205 pounds (92 kg)|
|Asian Elephant||~7000 lbs (3500 kg)||~225 pounds (100 kg)|
|Palaeo – Naumanni||~20000 lbs (9000 kg)||Not confirmed|
|Borneo Elephant||~8000 lbs (3650 kg)||~200 pounds (90 kg)|
|Palaeo – Falconeri||~500 lbs (225 kg)||Not confirmed|
|African Forest Elephant||~6000 lbs (2700 kg)||~75 pounds (35 kg)|
|Sri-Lankan Elephant||~12000 lbs (5400 kg)||~220 pounds (98 kg)|
|Cyprus Dwarf Elephant||~440 lbs (200 kg)||Not confirmed|
|Sumatran Elephant||~6000 lbs (2700 kg)||~198 lbs (89 kg)|
|Indian Elephant||~10000 lbs (4500 kg)||~225 pounds (100 kg)|