Excluding humans, elephants are the best animals.
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Elephants are very intelligent. The sources I'm using to prove this justified their conclusions, so these aren't cheap manufactured articles. Anyway, elephants ranked third, behind goats and chimps. The other put Elephants 2nd behind Octopuses. Intelligence is crucial for development of healthcare, weapons, and agriculture. Just look at what happened to humans when we began to vaccinate our children, develop large weapons, and began farming with machines, our populations hit record highs. This is evident when you look at malaria, more than half of the 108 billion people to ever live died from malaria, but now it only kills about 520,000 people annually, that's only 9% of all deaths that occur yearly.
Also, elephants are strong. Elephants aren't threatened by other animals when fully grown with the exception of humans. As a result, in a world without humans elephants would certainly rise to power seeing as they're not under threat by predators, nor do they have to risk their lives hunting other animals on a daily basis.
Moreover, elephants move in large groups.This is what humans did to makeup for their slender weak frames, and to allow for more efficient hunting, but elephants don't need to worry about that because they're built well.
Elephants could do well in other climates as well. For one they're fatty which would allow them to keep fairly warm for good periods of time in cold climates. Also they're smart as previously stated, so clothes and other garments could be invaded.
Please post a small argument, and an animal you believe is better than an elephant. I hope we have a great debate.
https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/270/what-is-the-correct-plural-of-octopus Yes it's octopuses.
https://www.popsci.com/worlds-smartest-animals/ Elephants are smart.
https://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/pets/5-incredibly-intelligent-animals/ Elephants are smart.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaria Malaria has killed a lot of people.
https://www.childfund.org/infographic/malaria/ Malaria death statistics now.
https://www.ecology.com/birth-death-rates/ how many people die annually.
Elephants do not hold many, if any terrible traits that can be observed objectively. I will concede that elephants aren't the most attractive animals, but there is no data that I'm aware of to objectively, not anecdotally state that elephants are bad looking.
One argument you could make objectively is the fact that elephants aren't fast. However, it's only a small part of an equation with many variables. Elephants don't need speed, they don't need to fear any carnivore, nor do they have to hunt for food. In a video linked below 14 lions failed to kill one elephant, imagine a world where the elephant population could grow and scale, something entirely possible if it weren't for humans. The results of the elephant population growing exponentially would halt nearly every carnivore from even threatening an elephants young. This is significant because the vast majority elephants that die from animals other than humans, die young. Saving more elephants, working in conjunction with their high iq would lead to them being just as, if not more successful than humans. lions, alligators, and hippos can't compete with the physical ability of an elephant, or intellect of an elephant.
But it doesn't end there, elephants poses a long, flexible, and muscular trunk, this may seem like a mute point, however this allows for crafting very intricately, this stops all animals that don't hold a flexible appendage can't achieve that same degree of success that the animals that do have a flexible appendage.