Q:

What is the gestation period for an elephant?

A:

Quick Answer

The gestation period for an elephant is 640 to 660 days. This is equivalent to about 95 weeks, or 22 months, and is the longest gestation period of any mammal.

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Full Answer

While a female elephant is in labor, the other elephants in the herd protect her by forming a circle around her. Most elephants only bear one baby at a time, but twins occur in approximately two percent of elephant births. Female elephants live to the age of 60 or 70 but usually only bear four offspring during their lifetimes. These offspring nurse from their mothers for two to four years.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What eats an elephant?

    A:

    Elephants lack natural predators in nature, largely as a result of their size. They are too big for most would-be predators to take down safely and eat. Humans are the primary predator of elephants, as people still hunt elephants for their ivory, meat and bones.

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  • Q:

    What is a male elephant called?

    A:

    The male elephant is known as a bull, while the female elephant is called a cow. For the baby elephant, the appropriate term is a calf. A group of elephants is termed a herd or a parade.

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  • Q:

    What is being done to save the African elephant?

    A:

    To save the African elephant, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna imposed a complete ban in 1989 on international trade in ivory. In the United States, the African elephant is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and in 1989, Congress established a moratorium on the importation of the ivory of African elephants. These measures reduce elephant poaching.

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  • Q:

    What is a "white elephant"?

    A:

    According to the Oxford Dictionaries, a "white elephant" is a possession that is expensive and hard to maintain but also difficult to get rid of. For example, it may be used in reference to a house or car that requires a lot of upkeep and cannot be sold because no potential buyers can be found.

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