Ellie and Edmond Feet!
We thought it would be fun to talk about our feet first on this fine feet week! We think our feet are pretty cool and we hope you’ll learn something about them too!
- We elephants essentially walk on our tip toes! This helps us walk quietly! We’d be good ninjas! Hahahahaha!
- We have toenails. They are not attached to any specific digit. These are worn down when we walk. In zoos, elephants get regular pedicures to keep those toenails healthy! Spa day anyone?
- Yes! We elephants have 5 digits in our feet! They are hidden in the skin and fatty tissue that makes up our feet.
- Generally the circumference of our feet is 4 1/2 feet. Our footprint can be round to oval shaped.
- You can tell the age and height of an elephant by their footprint!
- Animals can be classified by the shape of their feet. We elephants are considered near-ungulates because we have toenails. Our closing living relative- the rock hyrax has a very similar kind of foot. It is much smaller though!
- The bottom of our feet is full of grooves and ridges that help us stay stable and walk in all kinds of habitats. The bottom is also covered in tough fatty tissue that acts as a shock absorber and helps us sneak up on hyenas! (Ok, we don’t actually do that!)
- We elephants use low frequency rumbles that travel through the ground to “hear” with our feet! We can feel those vibrations as far as 20 miles away! This is how we know where all the good watering hole dance parties are- just kidding!
- Horse feet grow until we around 6 years old!
- My hooves are made to absorb shock and weight (which increases when I’m galloping).
- Hooves are flexible and expand when I run or stand.
- The exterior of the my hooves is covered in keratin! The same thing that makes up a rhino’s horn!
- The size of a horse’s foot is relative to the size of the horse! Clydesdale have bigger feet than me for sure!
- The bottom part of my foot is called the frog! I know- it is a silly name!
- My hooves need to be trimmed to stay healthy. Wild horses do this naturally when running!