Are you in serious need of a pick-me-up because the humans in your life are just not making sense today? Don’t worry, these 10 facts about elephants will make you smile and brighten up your day. These sensitive, empathic creatures have a tendency to do that.
This article originally appeared on AFKInsider.com.
Female elephants hear their biological clock start ticking much later in life than humans. Though their prime time to breed is in their teens and twenties, most can have babies into their fifties! Elephants only live until about 50 so that means they’re fertile for almost their entire lives.
There’s an elephant sperm bank
If you’re worried these friendly, floppy-eared creatures are disappearing, don’t be! Zoo officials are in the process of opening the first ever elephant sperm bank, and have already collected 16 liters of the precious stuff.
They love a little water aerobics
You know that swimming is one of the best exercises for your joints, and elephants know it too. They seek out water not just for utilitarian purposes like hydration, but also sometimes for the sole purpose of playing in the waves. Pretty adorable, don’t you think? Check out this YouTube video for your daily dose of cuteness.
The greatest birthing group ever
One of the most interesting facts about elephants is they way they protect and nurture other members of their herd. For example, when a pregnant female is ready to give birth, her herd forms a circle around her to provide a safe environment to go into labor. Once the baby comes out, the entire herd helps the little one stand up. That’s one strong pack of midwives!
Elephants suck on their “thumb”
Baby elephants suck on the ends of their trunks for comfort in the same way baby humans suck on their thumbs.
Elephants intertwine their trunks with one another as a way of saying hello and showing affection. They also caress their loved ones with their trunks when that loved one is stressed or unhappy.
There are elephant babysitters and teachers
In an elephant herd, every animals helps the others out. New mothers get help from the younger females in the group, who help look after and teach the baby. Grandparents also help look after their grand babies.
Handled with care
Full-grown elephants can certainly pick up 200-pound baby elephant with their trunk, or yank a stubborn branch off a tree, but they also have such micro-control over their trunks that they can pick up something tiny like a berry.
Their feet have silencers
You’d expect such a large animal to make a lot of noise when it walks, but elephants actually have soft padding on the bottoms of their feet that serve as sort of shock absorbers, and allow them to move around almost silently.
They visit “graves”
Elephants know when they’re passing a place where a loved one has died, and they often hold or gently touch the bones left over from the deceased.