General / Article


, Volume 13, Issue 7, pp 638-647

First online:

Why do elephants have big ear flaps?

  • Arunn NarasimhanAffiliated withHeat Transfer and Thermal Power Laboratory Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Madras Email author 

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In this essay we shall try to answer the question in the title with some geometry and heat transfer thrown in for effect. For doing so, as the joke goes, allow me to assume the elephant as a sphere. The reason will be apparent soon.


Heat transfer thermo-regulation convection elephants