How an elephant’s feet work

Tiptoes

If you x-ray the giant feet of an elephant you will see they are actually walking on their tiptoes. The feet appear flat because the internal bones are resting on fatty, shock-absorbing tissue.

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Back foot

A human has arched soles called plantigrades. An elephant’s back feet are arched but they still walk on the toes, so these feet are semi-plantigrade. The footprint itself is oval.

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Soles of the feet

The pitted, ridges soles of an elephant’s foot gives it great grip and enables it to navigate almost every surface. The fatty tissue helps muffle the nose as the huge animal moves.

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Image from flickr.com/photos/zoomzoom