Elephants are pregnant for almost two years! Elephants can give birth at any time of the year, but most births occur from March to May in warm climates and from December to February in cooler regions. The calf stays with its mother or matriarch for about two to three years, until it is about four years old. The oldest elephant on record lived over 86 years! It’s no surprise that elephants are one of the longest-living mammals on Earth. In fact, they are known to live longer than humans and whales!
Which Animal Has the Longest Pregnancy?
Elephants have the longest pregnancy among mammals, but what about other animals? The Blue Whale is the largest animal on Earth; Surely they must have had a long pregnancy? Not! Blue whale gestation is 11-12 months, similar to dolphins. But there is a marine animal whose womb is longer than that of an elephant.
Here’s a shocker, the animal with the longest pregnancy is thought to be the frilled shark!
Frilled shark pregnancy is three and a half years long! In Japan, a study of these sharks showed that the pups are born alive after hatching from their eggs and spending 3 and a half years in their mother’s womb. Frilled sharks are rare and live deep in the ocean. They look more like eels and grow to 7 feet long. Scientists believe that their pregnancy is so long because of the cold water near the sea level. Frilled shark pregnancy is three and a half years long!
Mammalian babies come in X-small and XX-large
What is a baby elephant called?
The words we use for elephants are similar to those used for cows. An elephant calf is called a calf and then grows up to become a cow if it is a girl, or a bull if it is a juvenile male. This is understandable because a group of elephants is also called a herd just like a herd of cows.
How long does an elephant stay pregnant?
The gestation period of an elephant is 22 months (or 622 days). But don’t expect to see your baby elephant right away; It takes another 2-2.5 years for a newborn elephant to be ready to walk on its own! An elephant pregnancy lasts about three years, which is one of the many reasons these animals are at risk of poaching and habitat loss. Elephants have very few babies during their lifetime, giving birth every two to four years, and usually only one at a time.
Some facts about elephants?
- Although populations of some African elephants still exceed their habitat capacity, elephants are being hunted and decimated in many countries in East, Central, and West Africa.
- Continuing across Asia and Africa, human-elephant conflict is on the rise. As humans increase our food supply to meet the needs of our population, existing elephant habitat turns into cropland and elephants find themselves competing for resources with people.
- Elephants have hair all over their body.
- Elephants can swim – they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
- Elephants have a slow pulse of 27 and for a canary, it is 1000!
- The elephant is the only mammal that cannot jump.
- The gestation period of an elephant is 22 months.
- Elephant is the national animal of Thailand.
- The African elephant is the largest living land mammal.
- The elephant’s trunk serves as a nose, an arm, an extra leg, a signaling device, and a tool for collecting food, extracting water, dusting, digging, and more.
- Elephants can live in almost any habitat that has enough food and water. Ideally, there is an abundance of grass in their habitat and browse by species.