Elephant Lands, Oregon Zoo

Heavy-duty Feet

A six-ton elephant is sure-footed on land and in water.


Cushions soften steps
With each step, cushions of fiber and fat in the feet support tons of weight and act as shock absorbers.


Walking on tiptoes
Stand on your tiptoes and take a step. As this x-ray shows, elephants walk on tiptoes hidden in padded feet.


Fit for traction
The ridges and pits you feel give traction for walking up trails, through meadows and across rivers. An elephant’s footpad is tough, but also sensitive to the touch.


©2014 Oregon Zoo