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Friday Mythbuster: Elephants and Mice

If you recall the film featuring this big-eared pachyderm and his animated mouse pal, you'll remember he wasn't too keen about meeting this rodent. Now, I'm not sure where the idea that elephants are scared of mice originated from, but I'd like to take the time to assure you, it's not entirely true!

Think about it. Picture the size of an elephant. Then, picture the size of a mouse. Picture the size of the elephant's lil' eyes checking out that lil' guy. Although pachyderms can smell and hear things that are far away, their eyesight is poor and their eyes teensy in relation to their enormous heads (that can just turn slightly from side to side). Furthermore, there's no scientific evidence that elephants are fearful of many animals in the wild, and it's been shown that the two species coexist peacefully in captivity. Mice can make their homes in the elephants' hay and straw . . . and probably don't even get a second glance way down there from the big ones.


Join The Conversation
hpw hpw 9 years
mythbusters proved that WILD elephants are indeed afraid of mice but for circus elephants they are used to a lot of crazy things and probably have been trained since they were babies of course they wouldn't be afraid of mice. it's like comparing a domesticated cat and a lion COMPLETELY different!
emalove emalove 9 years
Aw, Dumbo...I loved that movie as a kid!
annebreal annebreal 9 years
I guess circus elephants make the most sense for a mythbuster because of Dumbo, but I'd think they'd be the most tolerant elephants in the entire world and not the best sample to test out on. I mean, they get jacked around with for a living!
Pets Pets 9 years
Yes, Mythbusters called the myth plausible for the elephant changing his path in the wild but 20/20 did a test with circus elephants where the mouse was right on the elephants and they did nothing! Here's the link to the Mythbusters website where it lists it as false:
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I saw that mythbusters too! It was crazy to see how the elephant TOTALLY Avoided the mouse. It didn't like run away screaming but did NOT want to go by it! I love it
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
I saw this on Mythbusters and couldn't believe it. The elephants are startled by the mice and go out of their way to avoid them. It's a great episode!
JuelzZ JuelzZ 9 years
That of course is real ;)
CanadianInVA CanadianInVA 9 years
I like the picture from the article. Do you think it's a real picture or photoshop?
JuelzZ JuelzZ 9 years
It has been tested and proved correct that elephants are in fact "afraid" of mice. The elephants do not freak out but stop dead in their tracks and change direction when coming upon a mouse. There was an episode of "Myth Busters" that was dedicated to this and the "myth" was upheld.
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