An elephant is pregnant for up to two years before giving birth, the longest gestation period of any mammal. Elephants are the largest living and largest-brained land animal in the world, and a long development is needed for elephants in the womb.
Female elephants typically only have one calf per pregnancy. They get pregnant every four to five years. Calves are usually born during the wet season. They can weigh up to 260 pounds at birth.
For the first 90 days of their lives, young calves rely only on the nutrition from their mother's milk. After that period of time, they are able to begin to forage for vegetation and use their trunks to collect water. They still continue to suckle milk to supplement their diets up until the mother elephant gives birth again.Learn More
A baby African elephant weighs 200 pounds and stands about 3 feet tall at birth. Asian elephants are slightly smaller, though not by much.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
African elephants reach a maximum weight of 14,000 pounds, standing up to 13 feet high at the shoulder, while Asian elephants weigh up to 11,000 pounds and reach up to 10 feet in height. The two species are the heaviest land animals on Earth.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >