Q:

Why do elephants have big ears?

A:

Quick Answer

Elephants have big ears to help radiate heat and keep them cool. When elephants flap their wet ears, they cool the blood flowing through the numerous blood vessels in their ears. This helps cool their large bodies.

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Full Answer

Elephants use their ears along with their feet and trunks to hear sounds over long distances. Elephants can hear another elephant's call from as far as six miles away, and they can judge how far away the other elephant is from the pitch of the call. Elephants also use their ears for visual communication. An elephant flapping its ears is a sign of joy or aggression.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why are elephants so big?

    A:

    Elephants evolved to their current size over the course of tens of millions of years; this size adaptation is likely a survival mechanism because a full-sized, adult elephant faces very little threat from predators, though baby elephants are much more vulnerable to predation from big cats such as lions and wild dogs. There have been cases in which adult elephants have fallen victim to attack from big cats, but these cases are rare. The elephant is the largest known land animal, but scientists believe that this massive mammal evolved from a creature that is roughly the size of a small rodent.

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  • Q:

    How tall are elephants?

    A:

    According to National Geographic, African elephants are the largest animals on Earth and can reach as tall as 13 feet at the shoulder. They weigh as much as 14,000 pounds. Asian elephants are slightly smaller and feature rounder ears.

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  • Q:

    What is a herd of elephants called?

    A:

    A herd of elephants is called a parade. Elephants naturally live in herds with linear and established social orders. They require large areas in which to raise families, breed, travel, forage and live. The climates of Asia and Africa are ideal for these activities.

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  • Q:

    What is a group of elephants called?

    A:

    A group of elephants is called a herd or a parade. The phrase "herd of elephants" is more commonly used than the more fanciful phrase "a parade of elephants."

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