Elephants can walk very well. They use less energy per kilogram of body weight to advance one kilometer than other animals.
Most animals that reach a speed of 30 km/h do this by running. The elephant reaches the same speed by walking harder, a kind of speed walk. Then the elephants were encouraged by their owner to speed up. 34 elephants – varying in weight from 870 to 4000 kilos were running across the platform. Their speed varied greatly. Walking they reached a speed of 0.38 meters per second. In trot, 4.97 meters per second was no problem.
You Need to know:
Elephant Length: Asian elephant: 5.5 – 6.5 m
African bush elephant: 6,000 kg,
Asian elephant: 5,400 kg,
African forest elephant: 2,700 kg
The gestation period of an elephant:
African bush elephant: 22 months,
Asian elephant: 18 – 22 months
African bush elephant: 60 – 70 years,
Asian elephant: 48 years,
African forest elephant: 60 – 70 years
African bush elephant: 3.3 m,
Asian elephant: 2.7 m
Let’s know the Researchers:
Researchers from Belgium, Italy, and Thailand studied the walking techniques of Asian elephants and published their results in The Journal of experimental biology. When the animal makes speed, the rear body begins to move up and down. According to the researchers, this is typical for running, but an elephant does this only in one half of the movement. In the other half, the body hardly goes up and down. The hard-running is, therefore, half running and walking for half.
Indian elephants can run a bit. This sensitive issue has now been scientifically established by researchers from various American universities in collaboration with the Elephant Conservation Center in Thailand …
The researchers write that there is a lot of confusion about the speed that Indian elephants can achieve, and how their locomotion must be written down at top speed. In the past, terms such as (fast) walking, strolling, trotting or walking have been used, probably also because of the stiff motor skills of elephants.
The fastest animal reached 25 kilometers per hour. They do not run unambiguously, according to the usual definitions. For example, elephants are never completely detached from the ground, a leg always stays on the earth. The movement pattern of the shoulder also indicates a walking movement. In contrast, hip and hind legs are clearly running.
Ultimately, the researchers conclude from their analyzes that a sprinting elephant does more than just walk. He runs a bit.
By comparing the speed with the weight of the elephant, the researchers could find out how the animal used its energy. The results are amazing. An elephant uses at least 0.8 Joule per kilogram per meter for transport. This means that its energy consumption is one third that of people and only one-thirtieth of that of mice.
The elephant can keep the energy consumption low because the frequency with which the steps is much higher than expected. Moreover, he knows how to keep his body very stable by keeping two feet on the ground while running. When he walks he knows how to keep three legs on the ground. As a result of these measures, the pressure is much smaller than that of other animals and this reduces energy consumption.