We were surprised to find out how large elephant tusks are! Did you know that the adult female elephant tusk can be up to 5 feet long and the adult male's tusk can be 8 feet long! To help them visualize these measurements, Katie sketched out a 5-foot and an 8-foot tusk for the boys and we hung it on the wall. (I know it is really hard to see the pencil lines in the photos, but the tusks pretty much filled the whole sheets of paper.) They even got Dad to measure himself against the 8-foot tusk, which had to overlap onto the ceiling!
We talked about what the elephant uses his tusks for; besides protection from enemies and aggression with other elephants, they mainly use their tusks for food gathering. They use their tusks to strip bark off trees to get to the soft layer underneath to eat. They also use their tusks to dig up tree roots to eat. The boys tried out some Popsicle stick tusks on some bark in our backyard just to see how tough a job it can be.