How Much Does A Baby Elephant Weigh: Fun Baby Animal Facts

Arpitha Rajendra
Jun 14, 2024 By Arpitha Rajendra
Originally Published on Nov 09, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
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A family herd of elephants walking.

Male elephants are called 'bulls,' females are called 'cows,' and babies are called 'calves.'

Elephants are typically left or right-tusked, like how humans are left or right-handed. The dominant tusk is referred to as the master tusk.

Elephant species, or Elephantidae, are the only surviving family within the Proboscidae order. There are currently three recognized extant elephant species in the world, African forest elephants, African bush elephants, and Asian elephants.

Elephants are spread across a wide range in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, occupying deserts, forests, marshes, and savannahs. The life expectancy of elephants in the wild is 70 years. Among the three species of elephants, African bush elephants are the largest and heaviest land animals on Earth.

Male elephants are usually larger and taller than female elephants. The African forest elephants are the smallest of the three existing elephant species.

There are around 326-351 bones in an elephant's skeleton. Asian elephants have 19-20 pairs of ribs, and African elephants have 21 pairs of ribs. An elephant's weight is carried by its pillar-like legs.

Their limbs are more vertical than other animals to support their weight. Asian and African bush elephants are recognized as endangered, and African bush elephants are currently critically endangered as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Average Weight Of Newborn Baby Elephant

The average newborn baby elephant weighs around 198.4-220.4 lb (90-100 kg).

Adult female elephants give birth to calves. Adult females produce only one offspring at an approximate interval of four to five years.

Elephants can also give birth to twins, however, only 1% of elephant pregnancies result in twins. Calves or baby elephants are the center of attention in their family groups or herd and rely primarily on the mother for milk for up to three years of age.

Mothers provide all the nutrients that calves need through their milk. Baby elephants are precocial due to female elephants' long pregnancies.

Most baby elephants are born at night. Usually, adult male elephants are heavier on average compared to adult female elephants. Baby elephants can reach up to 200 lb (90.7 kg) and stand up to 3 ft (0.9 m) tall.

Both African and Asian calf are 3 ft (0.9 m) tall. Cows or female elephants can give birth to calves that vary in weight, from 150-360 lb (68-163.2 kg).

The largest elephant calf to be born was recorded was in San Diego Zoo in 2018, weighing around 281 lb (127.4 kg). This record was broken in 2020 by a male Asian elephant calf born in the Houston Zoo, weighing around 326 lb (147.8 kg).

Baby elephants easily stand and walk an hour after birth. Babies must stand to reach their mothers' bellies for their first milk. Elephants that are newly born do not eat using their trunks but with their mouth.

The range of African elephant habitats extends throughout the rainforest of West and Central Africa. In this part of Africa, elephants have access to grasses, branches, roots, and leaves.

An elephant calf only drinks milk for the first two years or sometimes even longer. Baby African forest elephants are around 200 lb (90.7 kg), African bush elephants are 260 lb (117.9 kg), and Asian elephants are about 200-250 lb (90.7-113.3 kg). Some Asian elephants may weigh about 150 lb (68 kg).

How much does a baby elephant weigh in tons?

A baby can weigh anywhere between 0.077-0.113 tons (76-113 kg)

The gestation period lasts up to two years with intervals of up to four to five years. The gestation period of elephants, compared to all mammals, is the longest. African elephants usually have 22 months gestation period, and Asian elephants' gestation is between 18-22 months.

Elephants are also highly intelligent with large brains, and the long pregnancy allows a calf to have a fully developed brain. Females reach their maturity earlier than males.

Newborn babies communicate with mothers through the sense of smell, touch, and hearing as they have poor eyesight. Without precise control over their trunks, babies might even trip. The mother needs to stay close to her calf.

Asian elephants weigh around 0.1-0.125 t (90-114 kg), some weighing around 0.075 t (150 lb). Baby African bush elephants weigh around 0.13 t (117 kg), and baby African forest elephants are 0.1 t (100 kg). It takes 15-25 years for elephants to reach their adult male or female size.

Elephants walking in the park.

How much does a one-year-old baby elephant weigh?

A one-year-old elephant weighs around 930-1395 lb (422-633 kg).

The mother is protective of her newborn and can get irritable with other herd members near her calf. The baby elephant follows its mother and the herd members. Males will leave this animal herd once they mature, and females will stay with the herd.

Baby elephants do not know how to use their trunks instinctively. Elephants lack muscular tone in their trunks when they are born, making them difficult to control.

Thus elephants must train a lot to acquire strength and dexterity in their trunks. By playing in the water and swinging their trunks back and forth, baby elephants strengthen and learn how to utilize their trunks. Females reach sexual maturity at nine years and males around 14-15 years.

The extended pregnancy period and care from the mother elephant help this animal develop properly. The weight range of a six-month-old young elephant is not precisely known.

For the first 12 months of their life, they gain 2-3 lb (0.9-1.3 kg) daily, as per San Diego Zoo. Some elephants reach up to 560-840 lb (254-381 kg) at six months. Elephants will continue to grow at the same rate, and in a year, they gain 730-1095 lb (331.1-496.6 kg).

So, adding this weight, their average weight will be 930-1395 lb (421.8-632.7 kg) when they are one year old. The weight of elephants is impacted by various factors like environment, food, and physical activity.

How much does a baby elephant weigh in stone?

The baby elephants at birth weigh, on average, about 19 stone.

There are loose aggregations and close family units of elephants. They also form a juvenile-care unit and nursing unit. A joint family consists of over two adult females with offspring.

As males grow and mature, they spend time at the edge of their family group and even associate with other males and families. Males usually stay alone or with other male elephants. Males and females get together for reproduction.

Newborn baby elephants weigh 14-21 st (90-136 kg). At six months, elephants weigh around 40-60 st (254-381 kg).

After the period of one year, elephants reach 66-100 st (421-632 kg). When elephants reach maturity, their size and weight vary from males to females. Adult mature females get 429-571 st (2720-3628 kg), and mature adult males reach 357-1,000 st (2267-6350 kg).

As elephants reach adulthood, tusks replace their milk teeth around 6-12 months of age and continue to grow. The tusk sits in the socket of the elephant's skull. It is impossible to remove their tusks without harming elephants.

This is one of the main threats faced by elephants. Humans poach elephants for the ivory trade as their ivory tusks are highly profitable. There are other threats like conflicts with local human beings and habitat destruction.

 

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Written by Arpitha Rajendra

Bachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

Arpitha Rajendra picture

Arpitha RajendraBachelor of Engineering specializing in Aeronautical/Aerospace Technology, Master of Business Administration specializing in Management

With a background in Aeronautical Engineering and practical experience in various technical areas, Arpitha is a valuable member of the Kidadl content writing team. She did her Bachelor's degree in Engineering, specializing in Aeronautical Engineering, at Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020. Arpitha has honed her skills through her work with leading companies in Bangalore, where she contributed to several noteworthy projects, including the development of high-performance aircraft using morphing technology and the analysis of crack propagation using Abaqus XFEM.

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