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Title : Facts about Asian Elephant Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

Asian Elephants are much smaller than the African elephants only growing to a couple of meters tall.Asian elephants are located in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia.Female elephants are called cows.

Asian elephants have been domesticated for hundreds of years for foresting and often battle. There are many places across Asia where Asian elephants are kept for tourists to ride, and are often treated fairly badly. Asian elephants are well known for their immense strength and friendliness towards humans.

The Asian elephant is the largest terrestrial mammal in Asia.Asian elephants have a single "finger" on the upper lip of the trunk, while African elephants have a second on the lower tip.Asian elephants keep their ears in constant motion in order to radiate the heat they generate and therefore cool themselves. The species are reported to have well developed hearing, vision, and olfaction, and are also fine swimmers.

Asian elephants range from 7 - 10 feet in height. They can weigh up to 10,000 - 11,000 pounds. This puts them among the heaviest land animals on earth, second only to their close relatives, African elephants.

Asian elephants are "muddy" grey in color, and have very thick, wrinkled skin. They have patches of brown hair on the tops of their heads and backs. Elephants have long, muscular trunks that are used to grab food lying on or growing from the ground. The trunks can also be used for grabbing objects such as branches, or for drinking and spraying water. On either side of the trunk are the eyes of the elephant. Asian elephants' ears are much smaller than the ears of African elephants, which is one of the easiest ways to tell the two species apart. Some male Asian elephants have visible tusks, while most females do not.Asian elephants have relatively short legs when compared to the rest of their bodies, and their knees are wrinkled. On the front feet are 5 toenails, and on the hind feet are 4.

Asian elephants inhabit a variety of tropical forest habitats from moist, evergreen lowland forest to dry semi-deciduous teak forests to cooler mountain forests up to 10,000 feet. They also frequent adjacent grasslands and farm areas. Their varied diet enables them to live in disturbed forests as long as they have plenty of space to move around and exploit different foods without coming into conflict with people.

Elephants have large, thin ears. Their ears are made up of a complex network of blood vessels which with regulating an elephants temperature. Blood is circulated through their ears to cool them down in hot climates.

An elephant can use its tusks to dig for ground water. An adult elephant needs to drink around 210 liters of water a day.

Asian elephants live in groups of 6-7 related females.

Asian elephants are herbivore, which means their diet consists only of plants. These elephants will feed on a variety of plants, including fruit, grasses, tree bark, vegetables and palm leaves.

The pregnancy or gestation period of female Asian elephants is about 21 months. They will most often give birth to only one calf.

Female and young male Asian elephants live in cohesive herds of related adults and their offspring. The matriarch, usually the oldest and largest female, sets the pace of the group's activities. Herds often join with others to form large groups called clans. Males leave herds at puberty, around their 13th year, and travel alone or in bachelor groups. Elephants wander widely in search of food. Movements vary widely depending upon food availability. Asian elephants communicate via rumbles, growls, bellows, and moans. Some of these varied, low-frequency sounds may travel a mile or more.

In the wild, Asian elephants may live up to about 60 years but most do not live that long.

Elephants are herbivores and can spend up to 16 hours days collecting leaves, twigs, bamboo and roots.

Female elephants spend their entire lives living in large groups called herds. Male elephant leave their herds at about 13 years old and live fairly solitary lives from this point.

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