Fun Facts About Elephants

 

Fun Facts About Elephants

Elephants are the largest and heaviest land animal on it that exist on Earth at the moment. They’re probably also the most intelligent domesticated animal. They have the longest noses of any animal. They have the longest teeth, these are known as tusks. Their gestation period is the longest and it may be that they have the longest memories as well. This article will help you learn some other fun facts about elephants.

Elephants have lived all over the earth, everywhere except Australia and Antarctica.  They have lived in rainforests deserts and glaciers.

A young elephant

Species of elephant

There were possibly 300 species of elephant. We now just have 2 left, the African elephant and the Asian elephant. There are two subspecies of the African elephant, the bush elephant and the round-eared elephant. Then there are three subspecies of the Asian elephant, the Sri Lankan, Indian and Sumatran elephants.

Family organisation

Male and female elephants (also known as bulls and cows) don’t live together. Usually, bulls will live together and the cows and their offspring will live together. The cows and calves (which are baby elephants) are usually in a herd which is led by an older elephant who will be a grandmother or maybe even a great-grandmother.

Mammoths and mastodons.

Many people will have heard of the woolly mammoth and know that it is one of the elephants’ extinct relatives. A woolly mammoth was found by a fisherman in Russia in 1799. It was frozen in a block of ice. Many other woolly mammoth tusks have been found in this area.

In North America, there were also some mammoths found but there were more mastodon remains found. Mastodons were similar to mammoths but they were shaped slightly differently. The mammoth had back which sloped downwards towards their tails, whereas mastodons have backs which are more level.

A woolly mammoth

Ivory boomerang – Poland 23000 years ago

Stone Age tools weapons

Elephant feet

Elephants have large round feet and are designed to walk quietly around the forest when they want to. As they put their feet down on the ground the size of their feet expands slightly. Most elephants have five toes on each foot, but some African elephants only have four toes. However, their toes do not stick out like ours do but are covered in skin. Their “toenails” are attached to the front of the round foot rather than their toe bones and look a bit like hooves.

The Elephant’s Trunk

An elephant’s trunk is a bit like having a combined arm and a nose.

The trunk will suck up water and then put it into its mouth so that it doesn’t have to put its head right down to the water to drink. You will also see elephants squirt water all over their bodies and also each other as a game.

The end of the African elephants’ trunks seem to operate almost like a finger and thumb. It can pick things up and even take grit out of its eyes.

The Asian elephant seems to have one finger on its trunk so it picks things up by curling its trunk around them.

The elephant can move its trunk in any direction and it can also stretch its trunk to reach things.

Tusks

Tasks are elephants front two teeth but they have grown much bigger than the other teeth they can grow about 17 cm by 8 cm in inches per year. They are used as tools and weapons and sometimes the elephants will sharpen one or both of them to make them more effective.

Unfortunately, many elephants have been killed for their tusks also known as ivory as poachers have been able to sell them for a lot of money just don’t wear out and lasts a whole lifetime unless they get damaged

The Other Teeth

Elephants also have to lower teeth which they used to grind up their food these teeth do get worn out and they get replaced about 6 times in an elephant’s lifetime each replacement is bigger than the last. Final teeth will be about the size of house bricks.

Elephants are constantly eating

Ok, not constantly! But for about three-quarters of the day and night elephants are collecting and eating their food. Elephants eat from 100 to 200 kg of food in the wild. They eat plants, they are herbivores, but they can’t eat cellulose which makes up a lot of what plants are made of. This is why elephant don’t contain so much undigested plant fibres and seeds

Elephants like bananas, other fruits and sugar cane so they are happy when they find these but they also trample these crops and push over the trees. This is a major problem for the people who have cultivated these as they can have their livelihood destroyed.

Elephant Quiz

Watch this video and see if you can answer these questions?

Can you name 5 things that elephants eat?

How old are the male elephants when they stop living with their female relatives?

For how long are female elephants pregnant?

How much does a baby elephant weigh when it is born?

Which elephants can’t run?  Why can’t they?

What is special about elephants and mirrors?

How do elephants protect their skin from sunlight?

 

Some Baby Elephant Clips

 

Some Elephants Running to Greet their Friend

 

 

Elephants Can Hear Through Their Feet!

The first minute of this video gives you an overview, carry on with the video if you what to know more about the science behind this.

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Dolphin Facts for Kids

Dolphin Facts for Kids

Dolphin

The great thing about working with your child at home is that you can pick up on their interests.  Many children like dolphins and so I have decided to do this page on dolphin facts for kids and how that might be the start of a project.

I loved dolphins from an early age and enjoyed the children’s TV programme “Flipper”.  That ages me!  Flipper was a bottle-nosed dolphin who looked like this one.

Start with a video clip.

There are lots of video clips you could choose from.

Here is one from YouTube called ”Five Facts About Dolphins”:

Here are some of the facts that mentioned. There are 43 species of dolphin, including 38 marine varieties and 5 river varieties.  Dolphins can swim at 34 miles an hour. Killer whales, which are a type of dolphin can be about 32 ft long. Dolphins are mammals not fish, and dolphins breathe through their blowholes whereas fish breathe through their gills.

You could just watch the video and then discuss it and see how many of the facts your child picked up on.  Or you could write out some questions first, so that they’re listening out for the answers and writing them down.

Basic facts on a webpage

Here I’m going to give you some websites that should be fairly accessible to a lot of children and some questions to go with them.

You can copy and paste the questions into a Word document or something similar and then the child will be able to answer the questions from the information on the website.  It might be interesting to see how many questions are they can answer before looking at the website and use that to check there answers. Bear in mind that not all websites will give you the same information so you need to decide what you think is the most likely right answer, or whether you decide that nobody really knows the right answer.

Equally, you could start with one question and a suggested website and then your child could tell you what else they found out that was interesting. You could then follow up with further questions or perhaps that give them a fact that you know and they can tell you if they already knew that from their reading.  They might like to give you a test. You can decide how much of an expert you can pretend to be.

http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/animals/dolphin.html

How clever do you think dolphins are?

Are dolphins vegetarian?

What whale is really a dolphin?

Which dolphin is the most common?

What are male,  female and young dolphins called?

How many individuals are there usually in a dolphin school or pod?

Give some reasons as to why dolphins are so popular with humans.

How do dolphins breathe?

Write something about dolphins’ eyesight and hearing?

How to dolphins communicate with each other?

How do dolphins find objects?

Name one type of dolphin which may have become extinct.

What do humans do that is dangerous for dolphins?

 

https://dolphins.org/kids_dolphin_facts

Dolphins live in the sea. Do they drink the water?

How many teeth do dolphins have?

What do dolphins use their teeth to do?

Can dolphins see at night?

Do dolphins see in colour?

Can dolphins see underwater?

Can dolphins see above water?

This is one of my favourite questions. Do dolphins have hair?

In what way are dolphins different from fish?

http://uk.whales.org/whales-and-dolphins/facts-about-dolphins

https://defenders.org/dolphin/basic-facts

 

More Videos

All About Dolphins for Kids: Dolphins for Children – FreeSchool

This video is a bit longer than the last one. It is 5 minutes long. It recaps on quite a lot of the answers to the questions that we’ve got above and it gives some extra information.

Here’s another dolphin video – also about 5 minutes long.

This video is for older children and has some quizzes and lesson materials to go with it.

Ed-Ted lesson material –  https://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-smart-are-dolphins-lori-marino

Is your child ready for some quizzes?

Try these:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/quizzes/bp-dolphin-true-or-false – Just six questions but will you know all the answers?

http://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz2430881bd5088.html 10 questions

http://easyscienceforkids.com/free-interactive-dolphins-quiz-fun-science-quiz-for-kids/

http://www.dolphinsfilm.com/learn/Quiz1.htm

This one is harder but it marks itself as it goes along, so you get to learn at the same time.

http://quipoquiz.com/quiz/dolphins/

More challenging questions, but again you get the answers as you go along so it is interesting to do.  The questions are randomised so you get some of the same questions and some new ones if you do it again.

https://www.purposegames.com/game/dolphin-quiz-game#

(I couldn’t do all these and I couldn’t see the answers.)

At “All The Tests” you can do other quizzes or create your own.

Would you like to know how to draw a dolphin?

Try following the instructions on this video:

Or take a look at this page http://www.wedrawanimals.com/how-to-draw-a-dolphin/  or http://www.hellokids.com/c_26032/drawing-for-kids/drawing-tutorials-step-by-step/animals/how-to-draw-a-dolphin-for-kids .

This one is a lot more complex https://design.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-draw-a-dolphin-step-by-step–cms-28672

 

Some other fun Dolphin activities

http://www.dolphinkind.com/dolphin_fun.html – a variety of different activities.

http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mdolphin.html – make a dolphin model.

 

For you as an adult

A teacher’s guide – this is to go with a particular film – but it does have a lot of general information in it.

http://www.dolphinsfilm.com/learn/DolphinsTG.pdf

An article from the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/11/china-extinct-dolphin-returned-yangtze-river-baiji

This was one of my favourite books as a youngster:

The Day of the Dolphin by Robert Merle https://amzn.to/2IDZsLx  I suspect it’s rather dated!

There was also a film to go with it.The Day of the Dolphin [ 1973 ] by George C. Scott https://amzn.to/2IBdpd2

Some Children’s Dolphin Books from Amazon

Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again by Craig Hatkoff https://amzn.to/2rYeaqa

Everything Dolphins: Dolphin Facts, Photos, and Fun that Will Make You Flip  https://amzn.to/2ICoWbW

Dolphins: Amazing Pictures & Fun Facts on Animals in Nature (Our Amazing World Series)  https://amzn.to/2KHMMUf

Dolphin Boy by Michael Morpurgo https://amzn.to/2J0DHZO

 

Let me know what you thought of this article, what else you would have liked to see here, and any requests you have for other articles.  Just drop me a comment below.

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