The man and the elephant: 10 facts about the largest land mammal on the planet


                                Человек и слон: 10 фактов о самых больших наземных млекопитающих планеты

August 12 is world elephant day.

About the animals — a huge, smart, very social — you’ve heard since childhood, read about them poems and tales. And you probably thought that elephants are invulnerable, if only because of its size. In fact, however, elephants need to be protected.


                                Человек и слон: 10 фактов о самых больших наземных млекопитающих планеты

In the XX century the number of African elephants has rapidly decreased due to poaching for ivory. Only for the 10 years preceding an international ban on the ivory trade (1990), the number of African elephants fell twice. In Kenya between 1973 and 1989 the population of elephants decreased by 85%. In Burundi, the Gambia, Mauritania and Swaziland elephants disappeared completely.

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Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the fifth among all the planets of the Solar system in size.


                                Человек и слон: 10 фактов о самых больших наземных млекопитающих планеты

Age – 4.54 billion years

Average radius – 6 378,2 km

The average circumference – 030,2 40 km

Area – 072 510 million km2 (of 29.1 percent and 70.9% water)

The number of the continents – 6: Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica

The number of oceans – 4: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic

Population – 7.3 billion people (50.4% of men and 49.6% women)

The most densely populated States: Monaco (18 678 people/km2), Singapore (7607/km2) and the Vatican (1914/km2)

Number of countries: a total of 252 independent 195

The number of languages in the world – about 6,000

The number of official languages – 95; the most common are English (56 countries), French (29 countries) and Arabic (24 countries)

The number of nationalities – about 2 000

Climatic zones: Equatorial, tropical, temperate and Arctic (main) + sub-Equatorial, subtropical and subarctic (transitional)

Indian elephant also destroyed — and for meat, and for the sake of the tusks, and because farmers from elephants to protect their crops. Now both modern species of elephants listed in the Red book. However, poaching is still rampant. In 2012, Africa was again the surge of illegal hunting of ivory.

As of 2014 managed to register about 352 thousand African elephants. In 2007 there were 144 thousand more. You need to consider that even without any human intervention the population of elephants may only be increased by 6% per year (according to research group IUCN (international Union for conservation of nature), studying elephants).


                                Человек и слон: 10 фактов о самых больших наземных млекопитающих планеты

WWF in Ukraine and “Around the world. Ukraine” offer a selection of interesting facts about elephants.

  1. Elephants are the largest land animals now living on Earth.
  2. Throughout history, there were 40 species of elephants, but nowadays there are only two African and Indian, which is also referred to as Asian. They live respectively in Africa and in South and South-East Asia.
  3. The height of the African elephant up to 4 m and a weight under 6 tons (with males larger than females). Indian elephants are smaller and lighter, have smaller ears and tusks.
  4. The heart of a elephant weighs 20-30 kg and beats with a frequency of 30 times per minute.
  5. Despite the huge size, these animals are very mobile and travel great distances in search of food and water, they also are good swimmers, but cannot jump.
  6. Elephants eat bark, leaves, twigs, grass and fruit. However it is also need minerals, particularly salt. So sometimes you can see them for an interesting pastime — digging in the trunk of a salt-rich soil.
  7. The weight of a newborn elephant is about 120 pounds. Young elephants are born blind, so they keep the trunk by the tail mom.
  8. Elephants live up to 80 years, while males grow throughout life. That is why 50-year-old elephant will be significantly more than 20-year-old. The oldest elephant Lin Wang from Taiwan died in 2003 at the age of 86 years.
  9. Elephants, like people, too, are left-handed and right-handed. This is because they adapt to work right or left Tusk. One Tusk is shorter than the other, because it wears out faster.
  10. Elephant — a symbol of moderation, compassion, eternity, Supreme power. African pygmies believe that elephants inhabit the souls of their dead chiefs.
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