Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. There are three types of elephants, and scientists recently divided African elephants into two distinct species. The three types of elephants are the African savannah (or bush), the African forest, and the Asian elephant. Let’s take a look at all three and see how heavy these giant creatures weigh.
So, how much does the elephant weigh?
The average elephant weighs between 4,500 and 11,000 pounds. How big the elephant is depends on which of the three elephants it is.However, the largest elephant ever recorded weighed 24,000 pounds (more on that below!), so in rare cases they can weigh as much as truly extraordinary weight!
Elephants are the largest land animals on Earth, but let’s take a closer look at how much different elephant species weigh.
#3 The third largest elephant is the African forest elephant.
African forests live like the rainforests of West and Central Africa. They have the fewest numbers and are considered an endangered species. Small elephants start at 200 pounds and grow to 1-3 tons (4,400-8,800 pounds). My minivan weighs 4,600 lbs, so it’s about the size of a small African forest elephant!
#2 The second largest elephant is the Asian elephant.
In fact, the ranking of African forest elephants and Asian elephants is inaccurate Science, because you can argue that one of them is bigger. Male Asian elephants typically weigh up to 8,800 pounds (similar to African forest elephants), while female Asian elephants weigh around 6,000 pounds. The largest Asian elephant ever recorded weighed about 15,400 pounds.African forest elephants, on the other hand, were not recognized as a distinct species until recently, so it’s hard to say how big is it they get it!
On top of that, both of these elephant species, which typically live in forested environments, are smaller than the largest elephants on this list, the savannah (or jungle) elephants that live on the plains of Africa.
The #1 Heaviest Giant is the African Bush Elephant!
The African bush lives on the plains and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. Literally the largest babies, African savannah babies weigh an average of 264 lbs, with some starting out weighing as much as 364 lbs! This makes sense, since they can reach 7 tons or more when they are adults. They range in weight from 2.5-7 tons (5,000-14,000 lbs). An African savannah elephant is about the size of your favorite street taco truck!
Which part of an elephant is the heaviest?
- big head: 10 lbs
According to one study, the brain of an African elephant weighs 10 pounds and has 257 billion neurons! It is three times larger than the human brain and has three times more neurons.
- Tusk: 11 lbs
African elephants have back molars that weigh 11 pounds and are 16 inches wide!
- huge ears: 100 lbs each
African elephant ears are used to help elephants stay cool. Their ears can be 6 feet tall!
- heavy fangs: 110-175 lbs each
Both male and female African elephants can grow tusks. Adult male tusks weigh 110-175 lbs each, female tusks are slightly smaller at 40-44 lbs.
What is the heaviest elephant ever built?
If you open the Smithsonian website, you will see it! If you want to see it in person, you can head to the Smithsonian and see it in the Great Hall, all weighing 11 tons. That’s 24,000 lbs! In 1959, a Hungarian hunter donated the hide of this gigantic elephant. It was shot in Angola and the hide was preserved. The large statue on display is named “Henry” and is carefully cleaned and maintained by museum staff. Most rooms have 8-foot ceilings, so Henry couldn’t fit them. A school bus weighs about 24,000 pounds, the same as Henry’s. Now that’s an elephant!
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
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