Indian Elephant, free pictures of elephants with interesting facts

Indian Elephant or the Asian Elephant is scientifically known as Elephus maximus or Eliphus maximus indica ( sub-species native to India). They are native to many parts of South-East Asia such as India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Pakistan, China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. In spite of its presence over such a wide area, they are considered to be endangered (threatened) species. This is due to the growing human population leading to loss of habitat, clearing of forests and poaching by hunters for Tusk. It is believed that there are only 35,000 to 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild today.

Elephant, Indian elephant, elephants eating, elephant tusks, elephants trunk, ivory,elephant ears
RG160- Indian Elephants Feeding

Elephants are found in grasslands and forests. They are herbivorous and the diet consists of tree leaves, stems, barks, roots, farm crops, grass and fruits. Asian elephants are smaller in size when compared to African elephants and can grow up to 11 ft tall, 15-20 ft in length and weigh between 3000-5000 kg. Females are smaller than males. They are grey in color and this helps them to camouflage in their shady habitat. The males have tusks while the females have very short or no tusks.

Some Interesting facts about this Mega Herbivore:

  • The skull of Asian elephant is larger and the trunk is longer in comparison to an African elephant.Asian elephants can eat more than 200 kg of plant material every day.
  • They can use their trunks for a variety of heavy to light weight jobs, such as tearing down a tree, picking up a blade of grass or as a shower, with various pressure settings.
  • In spite of their massive size, these elephants are capable of walking silently.
  • They have a gestation period of 20-22 months which is longest of any animal.
  • The lifespan of an Asian elephant in wild is around 60 years and those in captivity have been observed to live for 80 years.
  • Elephants have the largest brain among all mammals. They are intelligent and know how to make and use tools, show emotions, recognize objects (including their own face in water). Some of them can also be trained to do many tasks and can understand the temperament and feelings of humans.
  • An elephant trunk is made up of nearly 40,000 individual muscles.
  • They have a very strong sense of smell.
  • Elephants do not have hooves on their toe, they have nails. An adult can have 16-18 nails.
  • Humans have tamed and used elephants to do various tasks from thousands of years and they develop affection and bonding.
  • The elephant tusks are basically upper incisors. The tusks present at birth are only milk teeth which fall out and the permanent tusks grow.
  • Elephants perform certain rituals just like humans. They attend to the sick and old members, try to provide food and when it dies, they dig a grave and cover it with mud and grass. They remain near the site for some time and mourn the death. In fact, if any stranger passes by through such a grave, it also pays its respects.
  • Due to their large size, only tigers and lions are the animals which can attack and kill elephants. However, they mostly attack the young elephants and not the adults.

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