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.
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.