Elephants are tremendous distance swimmers. They can swim for up to six hours and 25 miles (48km). They are so buoyant that if they tire in the water, they can just rest by floating and will not sink. They can also use their trunk as a snorkel and dive.

Can Elephants Swim?

Elephants are excellent swimmers like all other mammals. The only mammals that have to learn to swim are humans and the primates. The pachyderm’s massive body, very surprisingly, gives them enough buoyancy to float easily. They swim completely submerged, with their head above the water and their mouths below, and use all four legs to paddle. The biggest advantage that elephants have above all other mammals is their trunk. A very versatile proboscis, they use their trunk like a snorkel. This enables them to breathe normally when swimming and allows them to swim long distances.

New research suggests that elephants are great at swimming because they could have evolved from mammals like the sea cow. And the reason they have trunks is becaus… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

8 thoughts on “Elephants are tremendous distance swimmers. They can swim for up to six hours and 25 miles (48km). They are so buoyant that if they tire in the water, they can just rest by floating and will not sink. They can also use their trunk as a snorkel and dive.”

  1. her-royal-blueness

    They just don’t seem buoyant to me. I always think of them as big muscular giants. With big bones.

  2. ryang33kcrest21

    Of course they are such good swimmers….it’s because they already have their trunks on

  3. Bare425

    I wonder if there are any documented cases of them being attacked by orcas or sharks.

  4. Jaycee10

    So you’re saying I should shoot for the Olympics.

  5. stonedhooper24

    Imagine a species of aquatic elephants

  6. TheGWD

    At first I thought the thumbnail was elephant anus

  7. Baloneycoma

    Elephants, deer, and hippos are commonly colonizers of coastal islands, which is why there exist pygmy versions of all of the above. Some biogeographers think one of the reasons that the Komodo dragon, which evolved from a relative of the monitor lizard to develop gigantism, did so because their prey was a subspecies of pygmy elephants.

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