The whole herd make the most of the cool dam as they splash about and one or two fully submerge for a delicious swim, including little Khanyisa! Can you spot her pink body, beside her big sisters/allomothers, Limpopo and Kumbura? 🤿
African elephants enjoy frequent swims, splashes or drinks when water is available. They are the only mammals that can remain submerged deep below the water’s surface while snorkelling. 💦
Elephants don’t just drink water, they use it for evaporative cooling, they play in it, wallow in it, bond in it, and swim across it in cases of rivers to get to greener pastures.
They are strong and natural swimmers (unlike humans, who need to learn to swim) and recent studies have even suggested that elephants may have an aquatic ancestry and that the trunk may have developed for snorkelling.
Because of their natural ability to float and a trunk which acts as a snorkel, they can swim for hours without stopping. Their massive bodies help them to float with ease and rest when they wish, but elephants can also walk along the bottom of the dam or river when it’s shallow enough, with their trunks out for breathing. 💦
In addition to the help from their long proboscis, their lungs are uniquely adapted to deal with the pressure changes caused by snorkelling – or when inhaling large volumes of water into the trunk before drinking or spraying it onto the skin.
Their trunks are phenomenal for many reasons but while watching them beside the coolness of a dam, drinking from the banks, you can see how they use these strong organs to suck up and hold water (up to around 12 litres), which they pour into their mouths to swallow. With their incredible olfactory skills, the trunks can also identify water sources from a great distance away, scents they can commit to their long-term memory.
Read more - https://herd.org.za/swimming-trunks-the-elephants-love-of-the-waterhole/