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10 Of The Funnest Facts You Will Learn About Elephants - Myth vs True

So, you are set to travel to the other end of the world to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, but before you do, do you want to find out more about some of the animals you'll get to see while volunteering abroad?

Our World Volunteering experts are here to help you learn what’s fact and what’s fiction about the largest land animal in the world, the elephant!

 

 

1. Elephants can get sunburnt!

This is absolutely true!

You can often see elephants covering themselves in mud, which is a natural form of sunscreen! As well as protection from ultraviolet light, this mud also protects them from insect bites and moisture loss.

  

2. Elephants can be left or right tusked

True.

Elephants prefer one tusk over the other, just as people are either left or right-handed. Their preferential tusk is often shorter as it is used more often as a tool.

 

 

  

3. Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals.

True 

An elephant’s gestation period is approximately 22 months long, giving birth to a calf only once every 3 to 4 years. Although elephants usually carry only one baby at a time, between 1 or 2% of elephants give birth to twins!

 

4. Elephants like peanuts

False.

Elephants do not eat peanuts in the wild and zoos around the world do not feed them to their captive elephants. However, elephants do like a variety of other foods, and can spend up to 16 hours a day eating!

 

5. Elephants are scared of mice.

False.

There is no proof that elephants are scared of mice. However, despite their size, they can be irritated by ants and bees and consequently, farmers in some African countries protect their fields from elephants by lining the borders with beehives.

They also avoid eating a type of acacia tree that is home to ants, since they can get inside their trunk, which is full of sensitive nerve endings.

 

6. Elephants can get drunk from the marula tree

False.

Stories of African elephants getting drunk from the fermented fruit of the marula tree are not true. Firstly, elephants do not eat the fruit from the ground (where it ferments), and the fresh fruit doesn’t stay in the elephant’s digestive-tract long enough to ferment. Besides that, even if an elephant were to eat the fermented fruit, it would take 1,400 pieces to get it drunk!

 

 

7. Elephants walk around on their tip-toes

True.

An elephant’s foot is designed in such a way that they are essentially walking on the tips of their toes!

An X-Ray of an elephant’s foot will reveal that the flat surface is actually a large pad of fatty tissue under the heel, which acts as a shock absorber and helps them move silently.

 

8. Elephants only use their trunks to drink water

False.

While elephants do use their trunks to transport water to their mouths (holding up to 10 litres of water at a time!), they also use their trunks for breathing, smelling, touching, producing sounds and even picking up the tiniest of objects, including a grain of rice!

  

9. Elephants are extremely smart

True.

The elephant has a highly-developed brain that is the largest of all land mammals. It is smaller in proportion to its body than that of the brain in humans, but it is actually 3 or 4 times larger.

An elephant’s brain has more complex folds than all animals except whales, which is thought to be a major factor in their intellect. They commonly show grief, humour, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, tool-use, playfulness, and excellent learning abilities.

10. Elephants have great eye-sight

False.

Elephants can only see up to 20 meters in front of them, but their sense of smell and hearing is remarkable, using infrasonic sounds to communicate up to 10km away!

 

 

Were you surprised by these facts?

Are you interested in working alongside these wonderful animals, while learning about their social behaviour and biology in Thailand?

Then check out our Elephant Volunteer Program in Chiang Mai and our other World Volunteering projects

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AIDS education thanda private game reserve HIV volunteering holiday volunteer trip horses how can i volunteer in africa how to be a volunteer in africa how to become a volunteer how to go to africa how to volunteer how to volunteer abroad How to Volunteer Abroad how to volunteer in Africa how to work and travel how to work in africa Humming bird impact imvelo awards imvelo awards 2012 imvelo awards finalists imvelo awards winners imvelo finalists 2011 India Innovative Awards Intern Abroad intern in Africa intern with a charity international earth day international volunteer International Women's Day internship internship african impact internship cape town internships internships abroad internships in africa jambiani job opportunity jobs in africa Jobs in Cape Town Jobs in South Africa Jobs with Lions jungle expedition kenya volunteering kwazulu-natal kzn wildlife large predator lion lion conservation Lion Encounter lion prides lion projects lion rehabilitation lion rehabilitation project lion rehabilitation volunteering lion volunteer africa lion volunteer south africa lion volunteering lion volunteering in Africa Lions lions in africa Live and work in Africa make an impact makeyourimpact making a difference in Africa malawi volunteering marketing Masai Mara masai mara volunteering masai mara warriors Mature Volunteer mature volunteering medical outreach project medical projects in zambia medical support medical volunteer medical volunteer projects Medical volunteer projects in Africa medical volunteering medical volunteering africa medical volunteering in africa medical volunteering zambia Naboisho Conservancy national geographic Nepal new projects ngamo pride ngo NGO Internship NGO Jobs non-profit organisations nursing Older volunteering orphan care orphan care africa orphan volunteer projects Orphan Volunteer Projects in Africa over 30's over 30's volunteering packing for the bush packing for travel to Africa Paid volunteering paid volunteering in africa photography africa photography south africa photography volunteer photography volunteering plant trees pre-school volunteering preparing to volunteer programs in Africa project rhino kzn projects africa projects for africa reasons to travel Red Hill reforestation reforestation in africa responsible tourism Responsible travel retirement volunteering rhino rhino poachers rhinos killed in south africa rural school Safari safari africa Save the African Lion save the trees saving rhinos saving the lion saving the lions saving the planet school uniforms africa seychelles Smba Giya social involvement social media Something different for retirement south afric south africa south africa internships south africa rhinos south africa volunteering special offer sponsor a child programme sports volunteer st lucia st lucia south africa St Lucia, South Africa stand out cv stand out resume steve jobs student volunteering sustainability sustainable development sustainable volunteering sustaining trees table mountain teach abroad teach English abroad teach in africa teach in tanzania teach in zanzibar teaching Teaching Africa teaching in africa teaching in zambia teaching projects in africa Teaching Volunteer Projects in Africa team house tentation THAF Thanda thanda in africa thanda private game reserve the happy africa foundation tips on what to pack tourism tourism cape town tourism south africa tourism zanzibar tourism zimbabwe travel travel africa travel and work overseas travel in Africa travel opportunities travel overseas travel to africa at christmas Travel to India trees for zambia Trip Advisor trvelling Tuli Game Reserve tweeting UCAS points UCAS points volunteering UK. Established in 2004 UNESCO up close with lions Victoria Falls victoria falls lion victoria falls lions victoria falls volunteer visit africa visit zimbabwe voluntary work africa Voluntary Work in Africa Volunteer volunteer abroad Volunteer Abroad volunteer abroad mozambique volunteer africa volunteer africa children volunteer africa opportunity volunteer africa program volunteer antelope park volunteer at Christmas Volunteer at Christmas volunteer chimfunshi volunteer coordinator volunteer forever volunteer game reserve Volunteer in Africa Volunteer in Africa volunteer in africa with children volunteer in African clinic Volunteer in Argentina volunteer in Cape Town Volunteer in Cape Town Volunteer in Fiji Volunteer in India volunteer in Kenya volunteer in kwazulu natal Volunteer in Latin America volunteer in Livingstone Volunteer in Nepal Volunteer in Peru volunteer in South Africa Volunteer in South Africa Volunteer in South America volunteer in Tanzania Volunteer in Thailand volunteer in the Masai Mara volunteer in township Volunteer in Townships volunteer in west africa volunteer in Zambia volunteer in Zanzibar volunteer in Zimbabwe volunteer in Zimbabwe volunteer lions volunteer mozambique volunteer national park volunteer on conservation projects in Africa volunteer on game reserve volunteer on holiday volunteer on vacation volunteer opportunities volunteer opportunities africa volunteer opportunity abroad Volunteer opprotunities Africa volunteer overseas volunteer overseas work Volunteer programs in Africa volunteer project volunteer projects volunteer projects africa volunteer projects in africa volunteer south africa volunteer St Lucia volunteer stories Volunteer Travel volunteer travel conference volunteer wildlife volunteer with african children volunteer with animals volunteer with animals africa volunteer with animals in africa volunteer with charities in africa volunteer with children volunteer with children africa volunteer with children in kenya volunteer with chimpanzees volunteer with chimps Volunteer with elephants volunteer with elephants Volunteer with elephants in Thailand volunteer with lions Volunteer with Lions volunteer with monkeys volunteer with orphans volunteer with rhinos volunteer with wildlife volunteer with wildlife in africa volunteer work africa volunteer work health benefits volunteer zambia volunteer zanzibar volunteer zimbabwe Volunteering volunteering abroad volunteering africa volunteering ethics volunteering in africa Volunteering in India volunteering in Mozambique Volunteering in Nepal volunteering in South Africa volunteering in zambia volunteering opportunities volunteering programmes volunteering with animals volunteering with lions volunteering zambia Volunteerism volunteerng volunteers making an impact Voluntourism voluntourism voluntourism ethics voluteer in africa walk with lions walking with lions walking with lions africa What is it like to volunteer in Africa what to do at christmas what to do in Africa what to pack what to pack africa what to wear volunteering where can i volunteer Why pay for volunteering why volunteer Wildlife conservation wildlife conservation volunteering wildlife orphan care wildlife orphanage wildlife photography wildlife photography africa wildlife photography opportunity wildlife photography program wildlife photography project wildlife project africa wildlife rehabilitation wildlife research wildlife research project wildlife research volunteer wildlife volunteer africa Wildlife Volunteer in Africa wildlife volunteer in south africa wildlife volunteer project wildlife volunteer projects wildlife volunteer zimbabwe wildlife volunteering wildlife volunteering africa wildlife volunteering in africa wildlife volunteering in south africa Womens empowerment work abroad work abroad volunteer work and travel abroad work and travel overseas work experience abroad work for charities in africa work gap year work in Africa work in south africa work volunteers Work with animals work with children Work with Children in Africa work with children in south africa Work with Chimpanzees work with elephants Work with Lions work with lions in africa Worki in Africa working abroad working in Africa Working in Zambia Working with Chimps working with lions world aids day World volunteering Worlds best holiday destination youth travel Zambia zambia africa zanzibar Zimbabwe zimbabwe volunteer projects zulu communities zulu culture zulu dambwa pride
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