Q:

Can an elephant jump?

A:

Quick Answer

Elephants cannot jump and cannot perform gaits, such as the trot or gallop, in which all four feet are off the ground at some point. Their fastest gait is similar to a running walk, and they can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour for short distances.

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Full Answer

Elephants' locomotion is limited by their gigantic size. Their legs are placed more directly under the body than those of most other mammals and have several adaptations for weight distribution and shock absorption. Cushioned pads in the feet also allow an elephant to move quietly. All four limbs propel and brake the animals, reducing stress on bones and muscles.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How big is an elephant?

    A:

    The size of an elephant depends on the elephant's age, gender and type; the largest elephant was an adult male African elephant who weighed approximately 24,000 pounds and stood 13 feet tall at the shoulder. Most African elephants stand from 8.2 to 13 feet tall at the shoulder.

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  • Q:

    How long is an elephant pregnant?

    A:

    The average gestation period for an elephant is approximately 22 months. Just like with humans, this is not a hard and fast rule. One elephant was pregnant for a total of 700 days — just shy of 2 years — before giving birth.

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  • Q:

    What is a baby elephant called?

    A:

    A baby elephant is called a calf. It weighs about 220 pounds at birth.

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  • Q:

    How fast can an elephant run?

    A:

    According to researcher John Hutchinson from the Royal Veterinary College in the U.K., adult elephants are capable of top speed running in a walk-like gait at a speed of 6.8 meters per second. That is nearly 15 mph.

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