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How long is an elephant pregnant for? (680 days)

The How long is an elephant pregnant for has been the most search on google and i have come with the right answer today, Elephants are undoubtedly the largest mammals living on the planet earth. They apparently have really distinct massive bodies with huge ears and long trunk.

The basic purpose of their trunks is to pick up the objects or suck water, greet other elephants, and suck water for both drinking and bathing purposes. Along with this, all the elephants grow those long teeth, called tusks which serve many purposes such as tusks are used for the protection of elephant’s trunk, for lifting and moving different objects, collecting food and stripping bark from the trees. Elephants also use their tusks to dig into grounds to find water underground.


Elephants have been highly sociable animals and they possess a high level of intelligence just like some other animals like great apes and dolphins.

Speaking about the pregnancy, a question arises in mind is that How long is an elephant pregnant for? So it can simply be answered by keeping the size of elephants in mind. Elephants are reported to have the longest gestational period of any animal that lasts up to 680 days or 22 months.

In other words, elephants are pregnant for the span more than 1 and half year. If we compare it with human delivery that lasts for 40 weeks only or 280 days, we get to know that elephants have probably the longest gestational period of all the mammals out there. The average life span for a female elephant is considered to be 60 to 70 years but she only has about only four babies throughout their whole lifetime. This is due to the long duration of pregnancy in an elephant.


Most of the elephants usually produce or conceive only one baby at one time, but a little fraction of elephants carry twins as well. When an elephant gets pregnant and she is about to deliver her baby, the other elephants from the herd gather around her and make a protective circle around the mother elephant. Baby elephant is delivered when it has reached an advanced level of brain development. This advanced brain development helps baby elephant recognise the complex social structure of the herd and it also helps then learn about how they can feed themselves with the help of their dextrous trunks. This is how the pregnancy goes for elephants. Moreover, elephants have been reported to show their need for complex neural development for the survival from the very first day of birth.


Several researches reported that elephants have shown a unique cycle for ovulation. Owing to a unique hormonal mechanism which is never seen and have not been described in any other species of mammal, the ovulation or the process of release of egg is quite different and unique in elephants than any other animal species.

Ovulation is the process of release of egg and it is stimulated by the two surges of reproductive hormones, one of them is luteinising hormone abbreviated as LH whereas the pregnancy in elephants is maintained by different hormones that are secreted by several ovarian bodies that known as corpus lutea. The population and species of elephants are declining and they are on their way towards extinction. And this knowledge about ovulation cycle in elephants can help us in our conservation efforts towards keeping our zoos and wild habitats happy with the existence of this giant sized population.


As mentioned earlier, elephants possess a long duration pregnancy which is unusual when compared with other mammals but it looks fine when we consider it keeping in mind the size of elephant. Not only the unusually long gestational period, but 4 to 5 year long birth interval between the birth of calves as well as the long gap between generations of elephants (almost 20 years or even more) complicate or hinder our efforts towards the management and rescue of declining species.


Speaking about the social structure, female elephants and calves are organized into complex social structures whereas the male elephants tend to live either in isolation or in small bachelor groups. The baby elephant or calves are taken care of by their entire herd of related female elephants and female calves tend to stay with their maternal female herd for the rest of their lives but the male calves leave the maternal herd and start living either in isolation or in tiny bachelor groups.


This article revolves around how long is an elephant pregnant for, how long does it take to conceive, the process of ovulation, average birth interval and average generation gap.

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