Tuesday, October 19, 2004


Although technically a fish, the elephant shares many attributes with the larger mammals - it has four legs, a number of eyes and greyish "skin". Like the giraffe, the camel and the baboon, the elephant is the only animal in the world with four knees, which makes it easier for it to reach high places when foraging for food. The best way to tell the difference between a male and female elephant is by the size of the ears - in males the left ear is larger, whereas in females the central ear is extremely small. Elephants have very good eyesight for a fish, able to see what's happening ten miles away if there aren't any other objects in the way, and they can read a daily newspaper from start to finish without any problems with eyestrain. Most elephants read the Telegraph, but a number of Indian elephants have expressed a preference for the Daily Mail. Elephanthropologists are divided on the question of whether they read the Mail in an ironic way or whether some elephants actually believe the drivel generally contained therein.

Elephants can walk on their front legs if the rear ones are severed or misplaced, and if you cut the front legs off they will grow new ones almost immediately. Contrary to popular belief, elephants have unexceptional memories and are not afraid of mice. They are, however, usually terrified of jelly, feeling that its semi-transparent, wobbly nature is the work of the elephant devil, a ten foot tall green thing called Portugal. Nobody has ever seen an elephant in real life, but their existence was conclusively proved in a paper recently published by the scientist Samantha Sciurine.

Monday, October 18, 2004