Tuesday is National Elephant Appreciation Day, which is observed every Sept. 22 to highlight the importance of conservation of the animals and create awareness about the various threats they face such as poaching.

Here are some facts about elephants to know them better:

1. The African elephant is the largest land mammal on Earth.

2. African elephant ears are the shape of Africa. It's one of the ways you can tell them apart from the Asian elephant.

3. In the Asian species, only the male grows tusks. But in the African, both male and female elephants grow tusks.

4. Both species live in herds, which are led primarily by a matriarch and consist of sisters, daughters and their young ones.

5. Elephants have six sets of cheek teeth (molars and premolars) in their lifetime. 

6. Elephants can swim and use their trunks as a snorkel while crossing rivers.

7. Wild elephants can live for up to 60-70 years and males only reach their full size at 35-40 years.

8. Elephants have around 150,000 muscle units in their trunk.

9. Elephant calves can stand within 20 minutes of being born and are able to walk within one hour.

10. "Elephants never forget" – their temporal lobe (the area of the brain associated with memory) is larger and denser than that of people, due to which they have good memory. 

A mahout feeds an elephant at night A mahout feeds an elephant at night Photo: AFP / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA