African and Indian elephants: what is the difference between them? It appears that there are plenty of them. Check them out and be aware.
Elephant is the biggest terrestrial animal of the earth, although the Indian representative is slightly smaller than its African fellow. Representatives of ivory families are African elephant and Indian (Asian) elephant is so different that they even belong to completely different species. Indeed, these mammals even have a lot of external differences. Check it up yourself.
African elephant facts. Indian elephant facts.
Every kid knows the elephants are the biggest land animals on our planet. Nonetheless, almost none knows that the leader of the biggest size is exactly the African elephant (or Loxodonta africana). So it reaches 4 meters height, and 6-7.5 meters length of the animal's body. The African elephant weight can be about 7 tons. Indian elephants (or Elephas maximus) are less than African elephant size: they are rising to about 3 meters, its length is 5,5-6,4 meters. Also male Indian elephant common weight is about 5 tons.
Indian and African elephant ears
No wonder, that African elephant ears are also much bigger than the Indian one. They can reach 1.5 meters length and are more rounded; while the Indian elephant ears are quite stretched down and also pointed downward.
Male and female African biggest mammals, both, have tusks. And the females are quite smaller. Nonetheless, only male Indian representatives have tusks are, even there are some males without tusks. In India such elephants are called Makhno. The tusks of African biggest mammals are longer than that of India ones (3-3.5 meters) and more curved; the tusks of Indian elephant are almost straight.
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African elephants have (you've noticed before) a lot of wrinkles on their skin. But in the Indian elephants have a small pelage on the skin. The colors also differ: African mammals are brownish-gray, the Indian elephants color varies from dark gray to even brown.
Also there are some differences in the shape of these elephants: for example, the African elephant is straight from the back and even slightly concave, having the rise in the sacrum, at the same time the Asian biggest mammal back is arched. Indian elephant is more massive, as its legs are much thicker and shorter than the African one. Such legs of African elephant are explained: its food is situated up on the branches, like the leaves of the trees. However, Indian elephant prefers to eat not only twigs, deciduous, but grassy pasture forage.
The structure of trunks differ too: the African one has two special finger-like processes on its end of the trunk, but the Indian has only one top ‘finger’.
To distinguish the Indian elephant from African you can look at its trail: the Indian mammals on the front legs have 5 hooves, hind legs - 4, and at the African front – 5 hooves, at least 4, at the hind legs- 3.
African and Indian biggest mammals have also the differences in the internal structure: African elephant has in 21 pairs of ribs, and Indian - only 19, African one has 33 tail vertebrae and Indian - only 26. There are also differences in the structure of molars.
Pubescence happens, when African elephants are 25 years old and India - before 15-20 years. Interesting fact, that African elephant can live till the age of 70. Impressive!
Even they differ in character: Indian elephants are friendlier towards humans, it is easier tamed. Indian elephants help a person in transporting cargoes and other different heavy work (in Southeast Asia), it is possible to meet the Indian elephants in the world-wide circus. Indeed, African elephants are much more aggressive, less trainable. Although they are difficult to domesticate: we know that African biggest mammals participated in the march on Rome of Hannibal (III century BC.).
Indian and African elephant habitat
Indian elephants currently live in the Northeast, East and South India, Cambodia, East Pakistan, Burma, Thailand, Sumatra and Ceylon, Laos, Nepal, Malacca, . They like to inhabit a variety of landscapes from deep dense forests to the tall plains. There are 15-30 animals in a herd; the leader of the herd is usually the oldest female.
African elephants are situated throughout sub-Saharan Africa. However, if earlier the area (distribution area) of the African elephant has been continuous and huge, now it is torn: African elephant cannot be found in the most parts of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Ethiopia; it have already completely disappeared from northern Somali. African biggest mammals inhabit a variety of landscapes, with the exception of semi-desert and desert. The herds are usually formed of about 400 animals. African elephant population is 470,000. However, in 1979 there were about 1,600,000 of them! At the same time Indian biggest mammals’ population is about 40,000-50,000.
All known species of the elephants are currently threatened with extinction and listed in the Red Book. The world must take care of them and, certainly, not kill. Some scientists think that our grandchildren may even not see the elephants at all. A lot of them are been killed annually for the tasks, meat or just fun. However, in many countries it is prohibited by law. Most of the African biggest mammals’ pictures were taken years before as now it’s difficult to find them.
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