Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 98 – African Elephants

Morning Musically-Minded, Medically-Minded, Masticators!

(Today’s post is sponsored by the letter “M”)


Over the past 600+ episodes, The Simpsons has taken us on an amazing journey involving music, science, and food to name a few concepts.

And what better way to start your week, than by discussing some of these concepts Monday morning?

So let’s get started this week by talking about one of our fellow species of the animal family, the African elephant.


In the ninety eighth episode of The Simpsons, Bart Gets an Elephant (Season 05, Episode 17), Bart is the caller who correctly wins a radio show contest held by Bill and Marty from KBBL. Bart has the opportunity to get $10,000 or the gag prize, an elephant. To the shock of Bill and Marty and to the disappointment of Homer, Bart chooses the elephant.

While Bill and Marty can’t initially get Bart an elephant, when the media and public turn on the radio station, the station manager pressure Bill and Marty to get Bart an elephant. Bart and the family are shocked to find an African elephant in their front yard.

Bart names the African elephant Stampy. But when he becomes too expensive to keep, the kids want to send Stampy to an elephant refuge, while Homer wants to recoup some money and sell Stampy to an ivory poacher. Eventually Homer agrees and Stampy is donated to an elephant refuge.

But have you ever wondered what African elephants are?



African Elephant

African elephants are the largest walking animals on earth. They have a population of approximately 415,000. They are classified as follow:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Loxodonta

There are two main species of elephant – the African bush elephant (L. africana) and the smaller African forest elephant (L. cyclotis). Both are social herbivores with grey skin, but differ in the size and colour of their tusks and in the shape and size of their ears and skulls.

African elephants range from 19 to 24 feet in length and grow to about 11 feet in height. They weight up to 6 tons. They have life expectancies of up to 70 years. They can be found in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, flooded grasslands and savannahs, Miombo woodlands, and Acacia savannahs. Despite their size, they are actually pretty nimble and can walk up to 195 km per day.

An elephant’s trunk is actually a fusion of the upper lip and an elongated nose. The trunk alone can weigh as much as 140 kg and can be a used as a deadly weapon. However, a trunk can also be used to pick up a feather, offer comfort to a distressed calf, push over a tree and hold 12 litres of water.

While they have a population of 415,000 today, they are considered endangered and have been victims of the ivory poach, as their numbers exceeded 1.3 million as recently as the 1970’s.

According to Elephants of Africa, like humans, they love to talk to each other by vocalising a range of calls and sounds. Research shows that as many as 70 different calls have already been identified, ranging from the loud trumpets of panic to the comforting rumbles of reassurance. They also use infrasound (sounds that are at a frequency inaudible to humans) calls which can be heard up to 14km away.



Now that we’ve learned more about elephant, be sure to come back next week when we continue our Monday morning musings with the next episode of The Simpsons.

Did you remember the episode? What’s your favourite Bart-centric episode of The Simpsons? What about your favourite episode where a pet is involved? What about your favourite The Simpsons animal reference? Were you familiar with elephants? Have you ever had a pet elephant? Did you know these details about elephants? Sound off in the comments below. You know we love hearing from you.

2 responses to “Super Safi’s Monday Morning Musings 98 – African Elephants

  1. Homer [to Bart]: Well, these bills will have to paid out of your allowance.
    Bart: You’d have to raise my allowance to about a $1000 a week.
    Homer: Then that’s what I’ll do, smart guy.

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