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Digestive System Circulatory System Respiratory System

Physiology & Growth

The following are interesting facts about the elephant´s physiology

Physiological Function


Sitting / Lying

Heart rate

28 / min

32 / min

Respiratory rate

10 / min

4-5 / min

On average, up to 310 litres of air are respired per minute

Heart Rate Diagram

The following is an illustration of a human heart beating at the speed of a mouse, a human and an elephant at resting state.

Mouse Heartbeat

500 beats/min

Human Heartbeat

70 beats/min

Elephant Heartbeat

28 beats/min

Bodily Function

Average Amount

Body Temperature

36.4 `C

Faecal Production

110 kg / day

Urine Output

50 litres / day

The African elephant´s ears act as a heat radiator. Similar to a human sweating and a dog panting the elephant´s ears have large arteries and veins near the skin on the back of the ear that pump blood through a filter of networked capillaries as the ears fan.   

Note: some statistics are from Benedict´s study of an Asian elephant reported in Elephants by K. Eltringham. A note of caution is that these statistics represent an immobilized elephant and thus can really only be used as a good representation.

Please click on a particular link to learn more about an internal system of the elephant

Digestive System Circulatory System Respiratory System

*The heart beating  diagram was inspired from the similar set-up at the "Elephant Nature Conservatory"


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