14 Fun Facts About Elephants
6) Female elephants live in groups of about 15 animals, all related and led by a matriarch, usually the oldest in the group. She’ll decide where and when they move and rest, day to day and season to season.
7) Male elephants leave the matriarch groups between age 12 and 15. But they aren’t loners—they live in all-male groups. In dry times, these males will form a linear hierarchy that helps them avoid injuries that could result from competing for water.
8) Asian elephants don’t run. Running requires lifting all four feet at once, but elephants filmed in Thailand always kept at least two on the ground at all times.
9) An African elephant can detect seismic signals with sensory cells in its feet and also “hear” these deep-pitched sounds when ground vibrations travel from the animal’s front feet, up its leg and shoulder bones, and into its middle ear. By comparing the timing of signals received by each of its front feet, the elephant can determine the sound’s direction.
10) Like human toddlers, great apes, magpies and dolphins, elephants have passed the mirror test—they recognize themselves in a mirror.