The difference between a calf’s smooth foot and a grown elephant’s is quite fascinating! Here are our favourite elephant feet facts.
Did you know…
Elephants are capable of walking without making much sound, but sometimes they purposefully scuff their feet against the ground to produce sounds.
Elephants may lift or swing their feet when they are feeling conflicted, unsure what to do or to let other know to move in a certain direction.
Elephants are able to detect vibrations in the earth, deciphering secret underground messages between one another – thanks to mechano-receptors in the toes, feet or trunk that are sensitive to vibrations.
Elephants are the only mammals that can’t lift all four feet off the ground at the same time.
The underside of their feet start to resemble the pattern of the dry African ground. When debris gets stuck in the cracks of their soles, they use tree stumps or other objects in their natural environment to try and dislodge them.
Elephants have 5 toes on their front feet, but only 4 on their back feet.
Elephants belong to a group called near-ungulates, meaning that they have toenails rather than hooves. Baby elephants are born with long toenails which need to be worn down by walking.
Elephants naturally walk on their tiptoes. When an elephant walks, the sole makes contact with the soil and the entire foot structure carries all the weight.