WHY DO ELEPHANTS HAVE BIG EARS?


If you are a parent, then the question '...Why do elephants have big ears..? is likely to be one of many that your child or children will ask you. You will feel that you should know the answer, but as with many things in life - you will struggle to find a reasonable or even 'truthful' answer. Lying is usually the best coarse of action as this can avoid the embarrassing situation of appearing ignorant. But worry no more, as the answer to 'Why do elephants have big ears?' can be discovered below.

Why are elephants ears so big?

The primary reason behind the big ears is that they are there to help the elephant to stay cool. Unlike humans, elephants do not sweat, so they have a hard time getting rid of their excess heat. This is why it is vital that they are able to keep themselves cool and prevent overheating.

Overheating is a big problem for large mammals and as the elephant is the world's largest living land animal, it's ears have evolved to stop them from boiling to death.

The enormous ears of elephants act as cooling devices. This works because their large ears contain an intricate web of large blood vessels that are situated just below the surface of the skin. As an elephant heats up, they pump hot blood into these specialized veins which allows the heat to escape into the air. Their gigantic ear flaps can measure up to 2 square meters and when the elephant flaps its ears, the blood temperature can drop by as much as 5 degrees Celsius!

The pattern these specialized blood vessels create in the ears are unique to each elephant and can be used to identify them, like human fingerprints.

Because of the high daytime temperatures, hot Savannah-dwelling African elephants have evolved larger ears than their forest-dwelling Indian cousins.

For related articles click onto the following links:
BABY ELEPHANTS
ELEPHANT FACTS
HOW DO ELEPHANTS COMMUNICATE AND TALK TO EACH OTHER?
THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFRICAN AND INDIAN ELEPHANTS?
WHERE DO ELEPHANTS LIVE?
Where do Elephants Live?
WHY DO ELEPHANTS HAVE BIG EARS?

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