Asian Elephant

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Asian Elephant
Asian elephant
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Superclass: Tetrapoda
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theria
Superorder: Afrotheria
Order: Proboscidea
Superfamily: Elephantoidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Elephas
Species: E. maximus
Binomial name
Elephas maximus
Linnaeus, 1758
Asian Elephant range

The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) is an elephant species living in Asia. They are more easily tamed than larger African elephants. People have used them as working animals for hundreds of years. It is the national animal of India.

Description[change | edit source]

Asian elephants are different from African elephants. They are smaller, have smaller ears, a more rounded back, and a fourth toenail on each of their back feet. They have thick, dry skin with a small amount of stiff hair, and are grey to brown in colour. Female Asian elephants have small tusks and occasionally none at all. Sometimes pink spots appear on the ears as a result of depigmentation.

Asian Elephants eat grass, hay, twigs, bark and fruits. It can live up to 60 to 80 years. It can weigh up to 5000kg and be up to 300cm tall. It takes up to 660 days or 22 months until the babies are born. [1]

Distribution[change | edit source]

Asian elephants have live across many parts of India and Sri Lanka. They also as far south and east as Sumatra, Indonesia. These three areas appear to contain subspecies that are slightly different.

Habitat[change | edit source]

Asian elephants are spread over areas with very different amounts of rain. They can survive in dry places where less than 40cm of rain falls per year and in wet areas where over 8 meters of rain falls in a year.

References[change | edit source]

  1. Hannover Zoo: Asian Elephant, viewed 2012-12-06