The Secret World of Elephants, a special exhibition that reveals new science about both modern and ancient elephants, opens at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC on Nov. 13.

The exhibit includes the titans of the Ice Age, mammoths and mastodons—and highlights their extraordinary minds and senses, why they’re essential to the health of their ecosystems, and inspiring efforts to overcome threats to their survival.

How do elephants “hear” with their feet, use the 40,000 muscles in their trunks, or reshape the forests and savannas they live in, creating an environment upon which many other species rely? Find answers to these questions and more in The Secret World of Elephants and see here for six facts you may not know about these gentle giants.