WTF Fun Fact 12580 – African Elephant Poop

Elephants are the largest land mammals in the world. So it’s logical to believe that they would do everything in a big way. We just didn’t realize HOW big.

Looking at the facts, it makes sense that an adult African elephant could produce over 300 pounds of poop per day. Males can grow up to 13 feet high and weigh 7 tons (that’s 14,000 pounds!). Females weigh about half of that.

It’s no surprise that they produce so much poop, considering how much they eat and how their digestive systems work. African elephants eat about 4-7% of their body weight in grasses, herbs, fruit, plants, and trees each day. And that vegetarian diet must be doing something right because they can live to be around 70 years old.

Of course, that same diet is also hard to process, so most of it comes out in their waste products. The rest is absorbed for nutrients while they sleep.

And sometimes, those elephants need those calories when they’re on the move – they can walk up to 120 miles a day (but their average is closer to 15 miles). If necessary, they can also use that energy to run. In fact, an elephant can run much faster than a human, reaching speeds of 40mph!

But back to the fact at hand. Elephants produce about 300 pounds of dung per day. So much that 1) we’re glad we don’t have to clean it up, and 2) some animals (such as dung beetles and specific monkey species) have evolved to eat this feces. The latter makes sense since much of the food is not digested and would still contain some nutrients.

 – WTF fun facts

Source: “African Elephant Facts” — Elephants for Africa