Is An Elephant a Mammal?

Yes!  An elephant is considered a mammal because it has hair and gives milk and is a vertebrates

Many think that being a mammal just means that the animal gives birth to live young. That would be an incomplete definition.

What Make a Mammal

A mammal has certain characteristics.

  • They don’t need to give birth to live offspring, i.e. females don’t need to go through a period of gestation, because there is a beautiful kind (namely order) of mammals that lay eggs, the monotremes. Remember the platypus…they lay eggs and they are mammals.
  • All mammals are endothermic vertebrates (that is, they are able to maintain a internal temperature higher than their enviroment) that have mammary glands that are functional in females to lactate their offspring, and besides this they have a neocortex in the brain and three middle earbones.

So, every single mammal in the world meet all the requisites exposed in the second point. If you want some deeper degree of insight, the ability of keeping their bodies warn varies from order to order, but all of them are able to generate internal heat as a result of their body functions.  But don’t forget that they meet all the conditions at the same time, if you hear that birds are endothermic, which is true, this is not a reason enough for considering them as mammals, as they don’t have breast, neither lactate their youngs, or have a neocortex or three middle bones. For being a mammal they have to acomplish all these conditions.

There are mammals without external ears, without fur except for fetuses, without any hint of limbs in the shape of their body, without eyes, without gestation, without teeth, etc, etc, etc. Still, they meet all the conditions exposed in the second point.

Elephants Are Certainly Mammals

Elephants are large mammals of the family Elephantidae and the order Proboscidea. Three species are currently recognised: the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), the African forest elephant (L. cyclotis), and the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Elephants appear in many cultures. It is a symbol of wisdom in Asian culture, known for its memory and intelligence, which is compared to that of cetaceans  and hominids. Aristotle said that the elephant was “the beast that exceeds all others in intelligence and spirit”