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What are some interesting facts about elephants?

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Quick Answer

According to the Smithsonian Institution, African elephants are the biggest land mammals in the world. Contrary to popular belief, wild and captive elephants do not eat peanuts. Elephants protect their skin from sunburn and insects by dusting their bodies with sand. Female elephants live in groups of up to 15. Male elephants leave the groups by the age of 15, after which they live and travel in all-male groups.

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Elephants use special sensory cells in their feet to identify high-pitched signal calls. This is because certain elephant calls are strong enough to cause the ground to shake, which in turn sends signals from the elephant's feet all the way up to its ears. Elephants can also detect messages and signals with their trunks, as the organs contain many sensitive nerve endings.

Elephants are capable of recognizing their own reflections in mirrors and have excellent memories. An elephant's memory is an efficient tool, especially during the drier seasons, as the matriarchs are able to remember the locations of past watering holes and lead their herds to water. Elephants feed on grass, sugarcane, bananas, leaves and bark. Adult elephants can consume an average of 300 to 400 pounds of food each day.

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