Tuesday, June 15, 2010

{Trivial Tuesdays} of Elephas and Loxodonts

This week's Trivial Tuesdays post will comprise not 1, not 2, but 3 questions pertaining to the same animal. Get ready, here we go.

Q.10 -11
What's the only with 4 knees but can't jump?


A. 10-11
The Elephant

Yes, the picture totally gave it away, but it's a great picture. Google found it for me but I was unable to find the source. Thank you unknown photographer and plane/helicopter pilot.  Moving on to the third question.

What does a baby elephant suck[le] with?



Its mouth

Haha Trivial Pursuit you tricky devils! I tricked a couple people with this question. The elephant's trunk is its nose, it does use it to suck up water but then it transfers it into its mouth, you can't swallow through the nose, it would go directly to your wind pipes and we all no that's no good.

There are three species of elephants living today, two in Africa and one in Asia. They are the largest land mammal living today (the largest mammal on earth being the blue whale but I digress). Their longevity compares with that of our own species with an average of 70 years (more or less depending on the species and group). You can easily tell the African Elephant from the Asian Elephant by physical characteristics.

 via Wiki
The most visible difference is the size of their ears. The Asian or Indian Elephant has significantly smaller ears than the African species. The African elephant is bigger and it's front shoulders are the highest part of its body. Both male and female African elephant have exterior tusks whilst only male Asian elephants have tusks. If you look at the tip of the trunk, you will see yet another difference. African elephants have two tips or fingers and the Asian elephant has only one. African elephants tend to be the more wrinkly of the two but just like size, you need both side by side to use this characteristic. The African elephant has a slopping forehead whilst the Asian has a pointy or not as rounded head (you can see it on the picture above).

So, if you where paying attention, you now know that Dumbo's mom was a beautiful Asian elephant and MAYBE just MAYBE she mated with an African elephant and produced a flying baby...but that is somewhat far fetched. I don't even know if they could produce viable infants or even mate for that matter.

Interesting fact, you can make paper out of elephant dung and it looks and smells nice. I recently found out you can make paper out of a lot of things that aren't 30 year old trees, it just needs to have a high concentration of cellulose. Elephants, being the large herbivores that they are, eat a whole lot of plant matter produce cellulose and fiber rich poop.  Crazy, right?

In other less mind boggling news, I'm off to NY for a this week so this will (most probably) be my last post until June 29th. I thought I would give my few faithful readers a heads up so you don't worry too much. I'll be back with interesting posts. 
Here's a little brain tease for you all :

Bio of the largest mammal ever to have roamed the planet earth
My Sighting of a Cecropia Moth
Citrus grandis
Tusk, Horns, Nails and Exoskeletons
Book review - Tree; a life story by David Suzuki and Wayne Grady
and much much more

Keep reading and thank you!
Take care!

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