If you enjoy watching animals on television, you may have seen elephants in the wild playing with water. Even at a safari park, elephants are frequently seen splashing about in their enclosure’s pool. Elephants clearly enjoy the water, which is quite evident. But how well can elephants swim?
Elephants can swim for long distances. They have the ability to swim for up to six hours and 25 kilometers. They are so buoyant that if they become tired in the water, they may just rest by floating instead of sinking. They can even snorkel and dive with their trunk.
Do Elephants Really Need to Swim?
One of the first concerns that may come to mind while contemplating elephant swimming abilities is why they need to swim in the first place. Some people believe elephants swim in order to get better food and water. However, this is not always the case. Elephants will occasionally leap into the water to cool off.
Elephants are native to Asian forests and African savannas, where temperatures can reach extremes. Water is essential to the survival of these species. These creatures can perish quickly if they do not have access to water throughout the summer. In fact, they had no choice but to leap into the water to cool down their bodies during intense heat.
Elephants swim for a variety of reasons, including migration. They frequently swim large distances to get from one location to another in quest of food. If they come across any rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water that are impeding their progress, they tend to swim around them without changing their course. (Source: Animal Ways)
The Evolution Of Elephant’s Swimming Skills
Elephants evolved from semi-aquatic ancestors. These animals are supposed to be smaller than modern-day Hippopotamuses, yet they live a similar lifestyle. Both the dugong and the manatee are long-distance cousins of elephants and are aquatic mammals.
Elephants have this unusual swimming ability due to their ancestors’ sea creatures, making them one of the finest mammals swimmers in the world. (Source: Animal Ways)
Maintaining Submergence Underwater
Elephants can also stay submerged in water for extended periods of time, which is impressive. While swimming underwater, they only maintain their trunk above the water’s surface, much like a submarine’s binoculars. It enables them to obtain a steady supply of fresh oxygen from their surroundings.
A healthy elephant is unlikely to drown. Despite the fact that elephants are long-distance swimmers, the issue of drowning is frequently raised. Elephants, as previously said, do not tire easily while swimming underwater. When they grow tired, though, they stop swimming and float in the water to rest. Their body’s large surface area provides them with the buoyancy needed to keep afloat. That means it’s difficult for an elephant to drown. (Source: Animal Ways)
Do Elephants Swim In The Ocean?
Elephants can, of course, swim in the open sea. However, elephants usually take this action when they are in a life-threatening situation. These cognitive animals are aware that deadly predators, such as sharks reside in the ocean. As a result, they strive to stay as far away from the open sea as possible. (Source: Animal Ways)