Q:

How long do elephants live?

A:

Quick Answer

The median lifespan of an elephant in the wild is 56 years for female African elephants and 42 years for female Asian elephants. Elephants can reach ages of over 70 years old. In captivity, elephants only live to be about 17 years old — one year short of adulthood.

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Full Answer

Elephants are the longest-living land mammals, other than humans. The short lives of elephants in captivity is thought to be the result of small artificial enclosures, pervasive diseases, obesity and the lack of large social herds. The oldest recorded elephant is Lin Wang, who died at 86 years old. The Japanese army used him to haul artillery in Burma until 1943, when the Chinese captured him. From 1954 until his death in 2003, Lin Wang lived at the Taipei Zoo in Taiwan.

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Related Questions

  • 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:

    How fast can an elephant run?

    A:

    According to researcher John Hutchinson from the Royal Veterinary College in the U.K., adult elephants are capable of top speed running in a walk-like gait at a speed of 6.8 meters per second. That is nearly 15 mph.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference in size between a killer whale and an elephant?

    A:

    Mature killer whales are typically longer and lighter than elephants. On average, killer whales weigh up to 6 tons, or 12,000 pounds, while an average male elephant can weigh up to 7.5 tons, or 15,000 pounds. Killer whales are 23-32 feet long, and elephants range in height from 8 to 13 feet.

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  • Q:

    What is some good elephant information for kids?

    A:

    Characterized by their long trunks and large ears, elephants are the largest land-living mammals in the world. There are two types of elephants: African and Asian elephants. Elephants have no natural predators; human development and poachers present the largest threats to the elephant population.

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