How long are elephants pregnant for?
How long an elephant is pregnant for depends a little on the species. African elephants are pregnant for up to 22 months, while Asian elephants are pregnant for 18-22 months. This is actually the longest gestation period of all mammals, which makes sense when we think about how big elephants are. A blue whale is only pregnant for 10-12 months, nearly half the length of an elephant pregnancy. Compare this to a hamster – those little guys are only pregnant for 16 days at a time!
How many babies can an elephant have at once?
Unlike other animals, elephants usually only have one baby at a time. However, there are cases where elephants can have twins, but this only happens in one per cent of elephant births. This is only slightly smaller compared to humans, where 1.6 per cent of births are twins. As you can imagine, carrying two huge babies can be very dangerous for the mother. However, we do see this happening, particularly with wild African elephants.
How big is a baby elephant when it’s born?
At birth, elephants can weigh up to 268 pounds and stand about 3ft tall. That’s about the same weight as a fully grown panda bear, reindeer or warthog. Asian elephants are a little skinnier at around 200 pounds, although they’re about the same height. For context, human children don’t get to 3ft tall until they’re 2-3 years old. Imagine the poor stork having to carry all that weight!
How many babies can an elephant have?
Elephants give birth around every four years, and given their pregnancies can last around two years, that is quite a lot! Although elephants can live for 60-70 years, they typically only have about four or five babies during their lives. Even so, that’s still a large chunk of their lifetime spent being pregnant.