An overview of elephant diet

Reviewing the top secret behind the intelligence of elephants

An overview of elephant diet

People often talk about the intelligence of elephants when it comes to notable features of these gentle giants. But there’s another factor that’s extremely special about them – their huge appetite. Elephants are herbivores, which mean they only consume small plants, grass, fruits, bushes, roots, tree banks etc.

Here’s a complete overview of elephant diet.


How much do elephants eat?

Elephants spend between 16 to 18 hours (nearly 80% of a day!) every day for feeding and they eat between 149 and 169 kg of vegetating and plants daily. However, as elephants’ diet is high in cellulose, a relatively small percentage of what they eat is digested. This is probably the key reason behind the enormous elephant diet.


How much water do elephants consume?

Though elephants require around 18 to 26 gallons of water daily, they may even consume up to 40 gallon. An adult male elephant may drink up to 55 gallon of water in less than 5 minutes.

In order to supplement their huge diet, elephants dig up the earth to obtain minerals and salts. They use tusks to remove pieces of soil and obtain the nutrients, as a huge amount of minerals are accessible to them deep in the earth. This may be yet another proof of good elephant cognition.


How does an elephant eat?

Elephants use their trunks for feeding themselves, ripping leaves from trees or grass. The trunk is also used to drink water. They may use their tusks to handle rougher food sources like tree bark.

Those who often ask “is elephant an intelligent animal?” will be glad to know that they can modify their eating habits depending on their habitat.


Call to action:

What are your thoughts on the relation between elephants’ high intelligence level and their huge diet? Drop your comments in the section below. You can also reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads to keep the conversation going. If you want to have more interesting reads about elephants, remember to check out my book TAMBO: AN ELEPHANT ADVENTURE.



Johorey, Janhvi. “An Elephant’s Diet.” AnimalWised, Updated January 10, 2017.


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