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EleFact Friday: More Tooth Talk

Today we have more tooth talk for EleFACT Friday. Elephants have hypsodont teeth, which are high-crowned and extend unusually far above the gumline. Teeth like this provide plenty of extra tooth material to combat the wear and tear that comes from abrasive substances that the elephants chew on. Their teeth also continually grow and are similar to those of cows and horses. Although Rana is already in her mid 60s, she still has a full set of healthy molars.

The photo below is of Rana, celebrating her healthy teeth with a cheeky face.

Comments(11)

  1. REPLY
    Andrew Pearson says

    That is fascinating about Elephants Teeth. I find it amazing Rana has all her own teeth. Especially with being 60yrs old and had such a hard life before her being rescued.

  2. REPLY
    Suzanne Eaton says

    I’ve read somewhere that elephants get 5 sets of teeth. In a lifetime. When one set wears out another set comes in. Is that true or an old wives tale?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      They are supposed to have 6, each lasting approximately 10 years, except the last set. Those last longer, until they are completely worn down.

  3. REPLY
    Susan says

    She’s so cute!

  4. REPLY
    Beji says

    Just curious. Do they get their teeth brushed or cleaned? Is there such a thing an an elephant dentist?

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      They do not get their teeth brushed or cleaned, that would not be safe. We do spray the hose in their mouths on a regular basis to examine them and wash away anything that may be ‘stuck’. Some elephants have required dental care, due to inappropriate diet, since in nature they would be eating/chewing for 15-20 hours a day and in captivity, they only receive small infrequent meals. This requires sedation, which is always a risk, and is mostly used with overgrown teeth, which can be overgrown to the point of covering part of their palate or causing injury and pain, along with the inability to chew properly, which contributes to digestive issues.

  5. REPLY
    Nancy Shaw says

    She does make me smile !!

  6. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    OH THE BIG 😍SWEET 🐘RANA‼️ NICE SHE HAS HER BIG
    MOLARS 🦷🦷STILL! SHE IS 60+ THATS EXCELLENT AS SHE COULD LIVE TO 75👍AND I SURE HOPE SO! SHES SUCH A BIG SWEET LADY KIND AND GENTEL WITH BIG LOUD BAMBI! AND ALL GALS! I SAW HE FOE DAYS STAND AND WATCH LADY! HAS RANA 🐘EVER SHARE SPACE WITH 🐘🐘LADY❓IT SEEMS BAMBI IS STAYING PRETTY GLUED TO MARA FOR AWHILE NOW! I LOVE LIL LADY! RANA COULD CALM HER FEARFUL SPIRIT👍
    PS! RECD MY P+G T-SHIRT! FOR WELCOME 🎉 🎈🎊

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      Yes, Lady often would share yard 4 with Rana and Mara. In the beginning, it was Rana that she would share the small yards with as well.

  7. REPLY
    Katie Howard says

    Rana is the best, well, best EVERYTHING! Love her energy, her smile and her ability to provide a stable platform for the new elephants to “land on”. It’s unthinkable to imagine Sanctuary without her but we do have to acknowledge her extraordinary longevity.
    Whenever she’s in a video, Scott’s voice takes on a special softness. I know you love all the girls, but it’s clear that she has a special corner of Scott’s heart. ❤️
    Thank you for sharing her with us!

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      So…. Scott and I just had a conversation about it. It took him decades to admit Sissy was his favorite in TN. But he’s truly not sure who would be his favorite here. There is a little bit of each one that you get so attached to. That being said, he did admit to having a soft spot for Rana, because of who she is.

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