What do elephants eat? Where do they live? How much do they weigh?

In this article, we will discuss about what do elephants eat, where do elephants live, how much do elephants weigh, how long do elephants live. Let's check out to find out the answers for these questions and know more information about this mammal through interesting and fun elephant facts for kids.

What do elephants eat in the wild?

Under natural conditions, elephants eat mostly grass, tree leaves, flowers, wild fruits, twigs, shrubs, bamboo, and bananas. Their main food is grass when it's available, along with some leaves.

But if the weather turns dry and grass dies back, they will eat almost any kind of vegetation they can find. They will knock down trees to eat their foliage. They will even turn to bark and the woody parts of plants.

Also elephants use their tusks to dig for roots. Much of this coarse food passes through their system without being thoroughly digested. They also use their tusks to dig for water, making it available not only to themselves, but also to other types of animals. Amazing facts about animals.

What do elephants eat?

Elephant eating

What do elephants eat in captivity?

Their keepers (such as the mahout shown at right, feeding his elephant) may give them cabbage, lettuce, sugar cane, apples, and bananas, as well as other fruits and vegetables. But hay is the mainstay of a captive elephant diet. And on a daily basis, elephants eat much less than the maximum amounts mentioned above. For example, according to the website of the National Zoo in Washington, Indian elephants eat only "125 pounds of hay, ten pounds of herbivore pellets, ten pounds of vegetables and fruits in nature, and a few leafy branches."

Where do elephants live?

African elephants live in sub-Saharan Africa, the rain forests of Central and West Africa and the Sahel desert in Mali. Asian elephants live in Nepal, India and Southeast Asia in scrub forests and rain forests. 

A group of elephants is called a herd. The herd is led by a matriarch, which is the oldest female. Females, as well as young and old elephants, stick together in a herd. Adult males tend to wander on their own. It's one of interesting elephants facts, elephant fun facts, facts on elephants.

A group of elephants is called a herd

A group of elephants

How much do elephants weigh?

The average African elephant weighs between 2.5 and 7 tons, and the average Asian elephant weighs anywhere from 2.5 to 5.5 tons. Given its size, the African elephant is the largest living land mammal on Earth.

In addition to their enormous weight, African elephants stand anywhere from 8.2 feet to over 13 feet at the shoulder. Asian elephants measure between 6.6 and 9.8 feet. According to National Geographic, elephants maintain their spectacular weight by consuming up to 300 pounds of food in a day. Their diet includes roots, fruit and grass.

Cute baby elephant playing

Baby elephant playing

How long do elephants live? Elephant lifespan

The simplest–though slightly misleading–answer to “how long do elephants live?” is, somewhere between 60 and 70 years. But that’s only how long they can live if everything goes well for them. Like people, elephants die at all different ages, and most don’t make it to the end of their species’ maximum lifespan.

The answer to “how long do elephants live?” also may depend somewhat on which of the two elephant species you’re talking about. The scientists found that Asian elephants used for working in the timber industry in the nation of Myanmar (also called Burma) reached a median age of 41 years. (The group had no statistics for wild Asian elephants.)

Asian elephant and African elephant

Asian and African elephant

And, how long do elephants live? had a disturbing (and controversial) answer when the researchers looked a elephants kept in zoos. The study found that zoo elephants of both species tended to die at much younger ages than either wild African elephants or working Asian elephants. The researchers said the median lifespan for elephants that died in European zoos between 1960 and 2005 was only 17 years for the African species and 19 years for the Asian animals. Stress, lack of exercise and obesity were thought to be largely responsible for the shorter lifespan of the zoo elephants.

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