- Asian elephants can tear down trees or pick up a blade of grass with their trunks.
- Elephants have the largest brain of any land mammal. In fact, of all land mammals, they have greatest volume of cerebral cortex available for cognitive processing.
- An elephant’s trunk has more than 40,000 muscles, more than all the muscles in a human body! Asian elephants have a gestation period of almost 22 months—the longest of any animal. Calves often nurse for two to four years.
- Asian elephants communicate via rumbles, bellows, and moans.
In 2012, on a whim, Vincent Lynch decided to search the genome of the African elephant to see if it had extra anti-cancer genes. Cancers happen when cells build up mutations in their DNA that allow them to grow and divide uncontrollably. Bigger animals, whose bodies comprise more cells, should therefore have a higher risk of cancer. This is true within species: On average, taller humans are more likely to develop tumors than shorter ones, and bigger dogs have a higher cancer risk than smaller ones