Female elephants have a reproductive structure of about 3 meters from head to tail, the longest of all terrestrial animals. Although male elephants have amazing penis lengths, they are still unable to enter the female’s vagina – about 1.3 meters deep inside the body. This strange structure also exists in marine mammals, perhaps related to elephant ancestors living in water, which prevents water from flowing into the body during mating.
The idea that elephants are afraid of mice may come from Old Prince’s Natural History, which says, “Of all creatures, the most hated by elephants is mice.” In response, Craig Bruce of the Zoological Society of London said that the story of rats getting into an elephant’s nose was only legendary and there was no definite evidence to prove it. To be sure, elephants hate bees.
In Kenya, if an elephant finds an African bee resting under a tree, it runs away. It is this habit that some people use to study the possibility of using bees to drive elephants invading farmland.
An African elephant stood by his dead companion. Elephants have a good memory. They not only remember landmarks and migration routes, but also have amazing social memories. In the 1990s, scientists studied the way elephants communicate with each other in the Amboselli National Park, Kenya, through audio-playback experiments.
In one experiment, scientists played a recording of an elephant that had been dead for nearly two years. When members of its family heard it, they gathered around the loudspeaker and exchanged it for its return. This indicates that elephant populations have close social connections. In another experiment, a female elephant switched to another group, and its original family could respond to its voice 12 years after it left.
Is there an elephant cemetery? It is true that there are patches of elephant skeletons, but drought and poaching are more likely to be responsible for the emergence of these “cemeteries”. In legends and experiments, an unusual phenomenon has been observed that elephants mourn their dead companions.
Cynthia Moss, an elephant conservation pioneer, recalled that she once brought back the jaw of a newly dead mother elephant to her tent. A few days later, the family of the deceased elephant passed by and observed the jaws. The longest-staying family was the 7-year-old child of the mother elephant.
Studies have shown that elephants are very intelligent animals with deep emotions. Although researchers are not sure whether elephants pay more attention to the remains of relatives than non-relatives, they conclude that “elephants may recognize the ivory of familiar individuals in their original lives through tactile or olfactory cues.”
The shape of a Procavia capensis is completely different from that of an elephant. It is said that the hoofed rabbit is the nearest living animal to the elephant. In fact, this statement is not correct. The recent common ancestor of hoofed rabbits and elephants dates back about 65 million years.
Speaking of common ancestors, at a certain level, all living things are related to hoofed rabbits. Some molecular biological evidence suggests that elephants are much closer to dugongs and manatees than hoofed rabbits.