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Biology

Monday 9 June 2008, by Sébastien Duffillot

All you want to know about Asian Elephant’s physical aspects

The Asian elephant is smaller than the African elephant. It ranges across a vast part of southern Asia, living in the forests and on the grassy plains of Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Sumatra and northern Borneo. Asian elephants inhabit humid tropical forests or savannah land. The most distinctive feature of this giant is its proboscis or trunk, which is actually an extension of its nose, and ends with nostrils.

Elephants are gregarious, roaming their territory in groups of 15 to 30 animals led by a mature female, the matriarch. They are herbivores, eating an average of 250 kg of leaves or bark each day. They drink around 140 litres of water a day and never stray too far from a source of water. Elephants are viviparous animals, meaning they give birth to well-developed young. Gestation lasts for between 20 and 22 months. Females can bear three to four young elephants during their lifetime, and carry only one at a time. A new-born elephant weighs around 100 kg and is able to stand shortly after birth. Mankind has for centuries captured these docile but intelligent animals, most often for use as a powerful beast of burden.

Ancestors

Anatomy

Asia and Africa

Tusks and teeth

Trunk

Ears

Legs

Eyes

Musth



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