Are they really thick skinned? It does not appear so since they tend to cover the skin with dirt or mud for protection from insects and the heat of the sun. And this leads me to ask what the color of an elephant is? It is easy; it is mainly that of the soil that they are in. As you can see from the various images in this blog, they are gray which I think is their prime color and the yellows, blacks or reds are just those of the soil that they use as make-up.
These animals are the most interesting I have encountered and their interrelationships are governed by a matriarchal society fully focused in the raising and protection of the young. What wonderful childhood it would be if I would have been raised by elephants…constant attention, no day care centers, not having to go to kindergarten, and free to wonder around.
The proboscis is the definite anatomical structure of the elephant. No other animal has such a wonderful tool that works as a nose, hand, snorkel, signaling flag, weapon, water hose, hugging and hand shaking device. It will take too long for me to elaborate in the various tasks that the proboscis is used for I must mention to what I refer by signaling flag.
The elephants can communicate their state of mind by the position of their proboscis; if you get to close they will raise and lower it giving you a warning to keep your distance, at times they want to get close, the proboscis relaxed and dragging the ground, or they just stand there watching you with the proboscis resting in one of their tusk, which reminds me or Rodin’s statue of the Thinker.
Since I mentioned “Thinker”, this implies intelligence as expresses by their care of the young, defense of the herd, social stratification, inter/intra species communication, grief when faced with death, playing, recognition and greeting of siblings, etc. Are they intelligent? I say they are…and probably due to their proboscis as ours are due to our hands.