Q:

How do elephants sleep?

A:

Quick Answer

Elephants take short naps standing up, but lie down when sleeping for more than a couple of hours. The average elephant sleeps for approximately four hours at a time, and spends at least half of that time lying down on its side.

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Full Answer

While elephants are herd animals, they will often choose different preferred spots for sleeping. Elephants not only sleep lying down, but there are instances where elephants can be heard snoring or kicking their feet as if dreaming. The incorrect assumption that elephants only sleep standing up is often formed when the casual observer spots an elephant taking a nap while standing.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do elephants move?

    A:

    When elephants walk, each of their legs functions independently, according to John Hutchinson of London's Royal Veterinary College. Elephants position their legs directly under their bodies to support their extreme weight.

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  • Q:

    What is the scientific name for an elephant?

    A:

    Generally speaking, elephants are broadly classified as either Loxodonta africana, if African, or Elephas maximus, if Asian. However, genetic research has found that subspecies exist in both groups and the scientific, or taxonomic, name is therefore not so simple to discern.

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  • Q:

    Where are elephants found?

    A:

    Depending on the species, elephants are found naturally in Africa and Asia. African elephants are found in most parts of Africa, while Asian elephants are mostly found in the tropical forests in Asia, such as in India, Thailand and Indonesia.

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  • Q:

    What is a group of elephants called?

    A:

    A group of elephants is called a herd or a parade. The phrase "herd of elephants" is more commonly used than the more fanciful phrase "a parade of elephants."

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