The teats of an elephant cow, unlike those of most other mammals, are
situated between her front legs, as is also the case in humans, primates
To enable the calf to have a soft landing as it enters
the world, the mother’s vaginal opening isn’t below
the base of her tail but between her hind legs. This reduces the drop
for the newborn elephant from around 170 cm to only 70 cm.
As a result, there is no more space for the mammaries between the hind
legs, which is why, in the course of evolution, the lacteal glands and
teats of female elephants have shifted forward to their current position,
i.e. between the elephant cow’s front legs.