People Are Just Realising How Elephant Mothers Give Their Babies Milk, And I Need To Lie Down

<span class="copyright">picture alliance via Getty Images</span>
picture alliance via Getty Images

First, came the news that alligator penises are almost erect. Then, we found out just how silly crocs look when they’re floating.

And now? Now, we learn about elephant nursing.

In a recent Reddit post shared to r/interestingasf*ck, site user just-new-4416 shared that “Adult female elephants have two breasts, or mammary glands, located between their front legs. When a female becomes pregnant or is nursing her young, her mammary glands become more prominent.”

Read: yep, elephants get boobs.


I know! The first photo comes from Kruger National Park in South Africa and has been written about before.

I guess it makes sense when I think about it ― after all, elephants are mammals, and I know cows have udders and dogs have teats. I guess I just expected it all to be a bit... further back, though.

The news keeps getting more interesting the more I look into it. For instance, did you know baby elephants drink about 10 litres of milk a day after a two-year-long gestation?

They don’t usually get completely weaned until they’re about two, Seaworld says.

And yes, it turns out that baby elephants DO suck their trunk in the same way human children suck their thumbs (aww).

People were pretty shocked by the news

“Crazy I’ve gone my whole life without ever even knowing this, let alone seeing this,” one Redditor commented under the post.

Tragically, I fear another site user’s comment is correct ― “I don’t think there is a context where I can use this nugget of trivia,” they wrote.

Yet another person pointed out that while elephants do have surprisingly human-like breasts, “I think it’s definitely a camera angle thing. Elephants aren’t usually kneeling like this, they are standing upright and when you see babies nursing, you get a broadside view and the baby is going in behind her legs.”

This tracks when you see an elephant standing up to breastfeed. Still, is it odd that I feel closer to the pachyderms now?