The more we learn about elephants, the more we realize they are so like us in many ways.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants

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Elephants never forget a friend, or an enemy

The memory of elephants is legendary, and for good reason. Elephants remember other elephants and individual humans years — even decades —after they last saw them.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants

 

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Elephants can distinguish different human languages

Not only are elephants astonishingly good at identifying and remembering individuals, but they can also identify different human languages, even the sex and age of the speaker.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants

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Elephants can hear through their feet

Elephants have a great sense of hearing and can send vocalizations a long distance. The species makes a variety of sounds, including snorts, roars, cries and more. But they also specialize in rumbles and picking up sounds in a more unusual way.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants

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Elephants are excellent swimmers

It may not come as a surprise that elephants enjoy playing in the water. They are famous for splashing playfully and showering themselves and others with sprays from their trunks. But it might be a surprise to learn that these huge animals are quite good at swimming.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants

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Elephants aid their scared, sick and dying

Elephants are highly social and highly intelligent creatures, and as such they demonstrate behaviors we humans easily recognize as compassion, kindness and altruism.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants

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An elephant’s trunk is critical to its survival

Not only is passed-down knowledge important to survival, but so is an elephant’s trunk. An individual simply can’t live without it.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants

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The elephant’s closest relative is the rock hyrax

With all we know elephants are unique animals, but it will probably surprise you to learn that their closest living relative is the rock hyrax, a small, furry herbivore native to Africa and the Middle East.

Source: 12 facts to change the way you see elephants