Elephants Never Forget … to Eat
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Our Asian Elephant has reached the 4 month stage of her pregnancy. Deep within, the digestive system has started to develop, and it’s going to be kept very busy throughout the elephant’s life as this animal will consume vast quantities of food. But the elephant has only a simple stomach, a system that will never be as efficient as that of many other animals, so when this foetus is born it will only be able to digest 40% of what it eats. That means it will have to spend around 16 hours of every day just eating. In the course of one day an adult elephant can consume up to 150 kilos of vegetation. That’s the equivalent of you or me eating 1,000 apples in a day!
The feet are growing pads of fibrous fatty tissue which will eventually help spread the enormous weight of the adult elephant. They act as a shock absorber, helping their owner to move quietly, despite its massive size. Even when an elephant treads on a stick, the sound is muffled by the feet. When the foetus is fully grown, it will be able to walk up to 95 kilometres in a day, and it will even run at nearly 40 kilometres an hour. It’s thought that elephants pick up vibrations in the ground alerting them to a variety of sounds such as distant thunder, animal stampedes, or another elephant’s calls. The footpads sense vibrations, which carry through the bones to the elephants ears. These elaborate senses in the feet will one day allow the foetus to pick up sounds from nearly 16 kilometres away!
Clip from the documentary “Animals in the Womb”.
Watch it here – Coming soon!