The Straight Dope: Can elephants jump?

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A Staff Report from the Straight Dope Science Advisory Board

** Can elephants jump? **

Dear Straight Dope:

I recently read that elephants cannot jump. Being industrious, a friend and
I called the Cincinnati zoo in an attempt to clear this issue up. We talked
to the elephant trainer there, and he didn't know. We also asked about
hippos not being able to jump, being not exactly lithe and graceful
themselves, and the trainer didn't know about that either. So, since a
trained expert in a nationally recognized institution didn't know the
answer, we figured you would. So whats the scoop? Can an elephant jump?

— Eric and Ken, U of Cincinnati

Thanks to Tom Silva, curator of mammals and elephant trainer at the Rio
Grande Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I've learned way more about
elephants than just the answer to this question, and managed to avoid work
and miss a conference call from my boss at the same time!



can elephants jump

Elephant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


** Elephant **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the living species. For extinct relatives also known
as elephants, see Elephantidae. For other uses, see Elephant
Page semi-protected

Temporal range: Pliocene–Recent

African elephant in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammal
Superorder: Afrotheria
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Gray, 1821
· /Loxodonta/
· /Elephas/

*Elephants* are large mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order
Proboscidea. Traditionally, two species are recognised, the African
elephant (/Loxodonta africana/) and the Asian elephant (/Elephas maximus/),
although some evidence suggests that African bush elephants and African
forest elephants are separate species (/L. africana/ and /L. cyclotis/
respectively). Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and
South and Southeast Asia. They are the only surviving proboscideans;
extinct species include mammoths and mastodons. The largest living
terrestrial animals, male African elephants can reach a height of 4 m
(13 ft) and weigh 7,000 kg (15,000 lb). These animals have several
distinctive features, including a long proboscis or trunk used for many
purposes, particularly for grasping objects. Their incisors grow into
tusks, which serve as tools for moving objects and digging and as weapons
for fighting. The elephant's large ear flaps help to control the
temperature of its body. African elephants have larger ears and concave
backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs.

Elephants are herbivorous and can be found in different habitats including
savannahs, forests, deserts and marshes. They prefer to stay near water.
They are considered to be keystone species due to their impact on their
environments. Other animals tend to keep their distance, and predators such


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