Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Electrophoresis (cataphoresis) to Ephemeral » Elephant - Evolution, Body, Limbs, Head, Mouth And Trunk, Teeth, Ears, Group Structure - Eyes, Social behavior, Death

Elephant - Limbs

feet front legs elephants

Supporting the elephant's massive body are four sturdy, pillar-like legs. Although the back legs are slightly longer than the front legs, the high shoulder makes the forelimbs look longer. The back legs have knees with knee-caps, while the front leg joints are more like wrists. Elephants kneel on their "wrists," stand upright on their back legs, sit on their haunches, and can be trained to balance on their front feet. The feet have thick, sponge-like pads with ridged soles which act as shock-absorbers and climbing boots, helping these sure-footed animals to ascend embankments and negotiate narrow pathways with amazing dexterity. The African species has four toenails on its round front feet, and three on its oval-shaped back feet; the Asian species has five toes on the front feet and four on the back feet. In spite of their size, elephants can move quickly, but cannot make sustained runs, as all four feet are never off the ground at one time. Elephants often doze on their feet, but sleep lying down for about one to three hours at night.


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about 3 years ago

the body is covered in thick wrinkly skin