Elephants are the largest of all living land animals, capable of growing up to 11 feet tall and weighing 14,000 pounds, in the case of the African elephant. There are several elephant species. They are, as a group, distributed across a wide range of habitats, but each species has its own unique traits and living conditions relative to its geographic distribution.
"Animals as small as shrews and as large as elephants are built out of the same building blocks of nerve and muscle," says Max Donelan, a professor of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (BPK) and director of SFU's Locomotion Lab. "We sought to understand how these building blocks are configured in different sized animals, and how this limits their performance."
The study is published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Conservationists have designated August 12 as World Elephant Day to raise awareness about conserving these majestic animals. Elephants have many engaging features, from their incredibly dexterous trunks to their memory abilities and complex social lives.