Elephants are considered the largest living animals on land today. For such massive creatures, however, you’d be surprised to know how small and adorable they are as babies.
Baby elephants are called calves. They can start walking an hour after they are born. As newborns, they are relatively defenseless, so they depend on their mothers for nutrition, care and guidance. Calves, like human and other mammalian babies, drink milk.
In the following season, calves learn to master motor skills, such as walking and running. They also begin to find food for themselves around this time. The average period of childhood for elephants lasts for roughly their first five to ten years. By mimicking adult elephants, calves also learn how to use their trunk to manipulate objects and gather food.
Around 17 years of age, an elephant becomes an adolescent or “teenage” in the human sense. Males form a bachelor pod with their friends to play games with each other and make their own herds, while females band together to learn how to provide for the herd. The elephant is considered an adult when it reaches 18 years of age.
Practice your know-how of the stages in an elephant’s life cycle with our very own diagram on the life cycle of an elephant quiz.