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Ears of the Elephant

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.

 

Puzzle ID:#732
Fun:*** (2.75)
Difficulty:** (1.33)
Category:Science
Submitted By:rkb-1961*
Corrected By:shenqiang

 

 

 



Elephants have almost no predators and they feed on plants, so they don't need to hear all that well (neither to protect themselves or to find food). But why do they have such big ears?



Answer

They're for regulating the body temperature. Since elephants have a large body mass compared to their skin surface they need the extra skin surface provided by the ears to regulate their internal heat (elephants are warm blooded animals). The ears are in fact radiators.
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Comments

randyeatmon
Oct 22, 2001

This is more in the realm of Biology or "natural phenenomina" than Pysics.
starman*
Nov 13, 2001

There should be a general science category instead of just physics. You can learn a lot from an elephant.
Don Ray
Dec 08, 2001

They also landed a baby elephant a role in a Disney movie...
phrebh*us*
May 27, 2005

Even though the category has long since been renamed Science, it should be pointed out that all lesser sciences like biology and chemistry are really just physics on a smaller scale.
metallicman*us*
Nov 14, 2005

I liked it, gave me a cool lesson. Good teaser, I like an occasional teaching teaser.
jntrcs*
Apr 21, 2006

for flying of course. havent u seen Dumbo
Jerrythellamamc*
May 21, 2006

Partially for communication too.
DEJLus*
Sep 22, 2006

Interesting! A+
doctapeppamanAus*
Apr 18, 2015

Sometimes I worry that some monstrous King Kong will chaos, but then I think... Homeostasis, yo?

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