Elephants are used as working animals in Asia. In the past they were used in war. Today, they are often controversially put on display in zoos, or exploited for entertainment in circuses. Not many people know about the unique ability of elephants.
Have you ever heard that elephants could swim? These five-ton four-legged animals can swim well under water. How far can elephants swim? Indeed, elephants can swim with great skill, alternately moving their legs at a regular tempo.
READ ALSO: What is elephant weight?
Can elephants swim underwater?
Thus, they can travel long distances. Moreover, they are capable of going deep enough to submerge underwater and use their trunk as a snorkel for diving. In particular, it is rarely possible to see the elephants swimming in the sea. A few decades ago some Asian elephants were used to transport goods between the Islands in the Andaman archipelago in the Bay of Bengal.
According to John West, Professor of medicine and physiology at the University of California, San Diego, unlike other land mammals, elephants can swim long enough because instead of the delicate pleural membrane they have the dense connective tissue.
How can elephants swim?
Thus, they can cope with the pressure changes. Anne Gaeta, a researcher at the Department of Zoology, the University of Melbourne in Australia, found the difference, which explains the affinity of these animals with water.
Interesting to know that, in 2008 a group of experts from the universities of Oxford in England and Stony Brook in new York, found another feature that hints at the connection of elephants with the marine environment. According to the scientists, elephants descended from Moeritherium, mammals like tapirs, which spent part of their life in water 37 million years ago.
- READ ALSO: Babies of what animals are the funniest?