How Strong Are Elephants? 

We know that elephants are the largest land mammals in the world, but does this size also come with strength? How strong are elephants really?

An elephant trunk can lift over 770 pounds. These massive animals can lift about 25% of their body weight on their back. Their tusks are robust, withstanding as much as a 14,000 PSI force. Elephants also have an incredible strike with their trunks, generating 6,000 pounds of strength.

In this article, we’re going to look into how strong elephants are and how they use their strength, let’s get started.

Elephant blocking the road

Elephant Strength

An elephant’s strength primarily comes from its enormous size rather than the conditions of its habitat. 

An elephant can weigh around 14,000 pounds and stand at 13 feet, enough to crush other animals. But that’s not all. There’s much more to an elephant’s strength than just this. 

To explore an elephant’s real strength, we’ll have to look at the different aspects that make up its power. 

How Strong Is An Elephant’s Trunk?

An elephant’s trunk is one of the most integral parts of the animal’s strength. The trunk is a combination of the nose and upper lip.

The elephant uses this for multiple purposes like picking objects, bathing, drinking, communication, etc. Moreover, it also serves as a great weapon.

Elephant trunks are mighty and can lift around 770 pounds. The strength of the trunk comes from the 40,000 muscles and 400 pounds of weight.

Compare this to an average human with only 600 muscles in the whole body. 

Male elephants fight with other males using their trunks to assert dominance. They can also kill other predators quickly with only a swipe of their trunk. An elephant trunk can swipe with a 6,000-pound force when used as a weapon. 

Elephant using its trunk to lift a tourist

How Strong Is an Elephant’s Tusks?

Elephant tusks are overgrown incisors that keep growing throughout their life. In most species, males and females both have tusks. 

Elephants use their tusks for multiple purposes like bringing down trees, defense, gathering food, removing bark, etc. 

Elephant tusks are essential to their strength, withstanding a force of more than 14,000 PSI.

These tusks can handle incredible amounts of pressure, and elephants even use them as a defense force.

Contrary to some publications, elephant bite force hasn’t been accurately measured, so we cannot provide figures on their biting strength.

As they chew and grind many hard foods, we can safely assume that they have a strong jaw, but it’s not something they use for self-defense or attack.

Elephant using it's tusk to break hard fruits

How Are Elephants So Strong?

You’ve looked at the aspects of an elephant’s strength, but why and how are they so strong?

They’re Enormous in Size 

Most of an elephant’s strength comes from its large size. You need incredible power to hold a body as massive as an elephant. 

An elephant’s back is not too strong, but they do have stable joints and strong legs. These two combined hold the elephant’s weight and allow them to perform its daily activities. 

An elephant’s giant body and powerful legs are its primary strength source. An elephant can run as much as 24 miles in an hour without falling over, thanks to their balance.  

They Have a Large Diet 

Like any other living thing, elephants gain energy from what they eat. As they are non-ruminant herbivores, an elephant’s diet consists of plants alone. They feed on shrubs, grass, tree leaves, etc.

Besides their large size, an elephant’s strength comes from the massive amount of food they consume daily. 

Elephants eat around 330 to 375 pounds of vegetation daily to fuel its body. This enormous amount allows it to carry its body and maintain all bodily functions. 

Elephant feeding off of a bush

Are Lions Stronger Than Elephants?

When comparing an elephant’s and a lion’s strength, elephants are undoubtedly stronger. They have a stronger bite and lifting force.

But that doesn’t mean that lions cannot kill elephants. When lions hunt together, they can kill elephants, even full-grown ones. 

While elephants are stronger, lions have a better strike force since they can run fast. Lions’ bodies are designed for killing.

Elephants use their strength for protection. If you look at the social structure, it’s almost impossible for an elephant to survive alone. 

Elephant pushing tree down in South Africa.

Final Thoughts On How Strong Elephants Are

When you look at their weight and size, it’s not hard to say that elephants are one of the strongest animals living on the earth’s surface. 

They’ve got strong trunks that can lift around 800 pounds. While they’re gentle creatures, they have what it takes to protect and provide for themselves.

FAQs

Which Animals Can Defeat Elephants?

Besides humans, lions are the only animals who can defeat and kill elephants. Males, being much heavier than female lions, have enough strength. While seven lionesses must come together to kill an elephant, two male lions could bring one down. 

How Much Force Is an Elephant Able to Pull?

Elephants are enormous mammals that have incredible weight-lifting strength. Elephants are known to carry as much as 9,000 kg.

Are Male Elephants Stronger or Females?

Male and female elephants have different tusk sizes, resulting in their strength differences. Research shows that female elephants are stronger than their male counterparts in lifting and pulling weights.