I was so busy appreciating elephants yesterday I had no spare time to blog about Elephant Appreciation Day, which was yesterday. That, and I am still internetless.
I go on and on and on about elephants to Violet all of the time and she made me promise to get some of it out here. But again I am typing on my phone so I will just note 10 favorite facts:
1. ALL elephants live in matriarchs. Yes sir, ladyphants call the shots. Always.
2. Elephants have very close family structures and are highly social. Mothers and daughters, aunts and girl cousins will spend their entire lives together. The boyphants hang with the heard until they get horny enough to put the moves on a family member (this is usually in the teens). At that point they get kicked out and live fairly solitude lives.
3. The ears are their main cooling systems. Elephants have voluntary control over blood flow and vein constriction or expansion in their ears.
4. Another defense against heat is their skin. That’s why elephants are so wrinkly. Skin breathes right? So, the more you have the cooler you can stay.
5. There are only two elephant species left on earth: Asian and African. Their genetic relationship is actually quite distant which makes them pretty different animals.
6. Elephants are one of the only other animals known to pay homage to the dead. If and when elephants run into an elephant who has passed the entire heard becomes unusually silent as they all gently stroke the bones with their trunks and feet. They spend a significant amount of time with the skulls. Elephants have also been found attempting to bury the remains.
7. “Memory of an elephant” is a totally valid expression- except that our memory doesn’t even come close. Elephants can be found retracing long and complicated voyages (usually for food and water) that they are remembering exactly from over 30 or 40 years ago.
8. Elephants have seven sets of teeth. As they eat they eventually wear a set out and the new set comes in. If an elephant dies of old age it is usually because they have used up their last set and can’t eat properly anymore. (on average elephants can live around 70ish years)
9. The human body has about 640 muscles. The elephant’s trunk has over 40,000. It’s a tricky instument to figure out and takes years to learn how to use.
10. Dessert elephants (an African variety) are thought to be able to smell water. They will find a spot in the sand and dig several meters down- always uncovering water.
Oh man, I have SOOOO much more to mention… But I said ten so, tis all for now for you. Violet will be home soon, so I will attempt to hold my breath until then.
Happy Elephant Day!