Difference between African and Asian Elephants: Elephant though wild is often considered a fantastic animal in the Indian subcontinent. The huge animal has a deep religio-cultural significance in the country. The animal assumes a sacred and lofty position as the head resembles the Hindu deity- Ganesha. Legend has it that Lord Shiva transplants the head of his son with an elephant’s. Shiva decapitulates his son’s head in a fit of rage.
Children in India visit circuses with an innate craving to see their favorite animal- elephant performing such breath taking feats. Elephants in circuses dance, enact and indulge in some wonderful feats that make the kids grow ecstatic. It is said that elephant’s memory is the best among all the other mammals and vertebrates. Psychologists, neurolinguists and psychiatrists say that human subconscious is as mighty as an elephant.
There are some morphological differences between Indian Elephant and African Elephants. One can easily differentiate an Indian elephant from its African sibling. Three species of elephant exist today, they are the: African Bush Elephant, African Forest Elephant and the Asian Elephant. Most of the species of the genera elephantidae are extinct today, unfortunately.
Elephants are the most intelligent animals. They are the biggest too. The gestation period of elephants is the largest and spans to a whopping 22 months. Elephants survive typically for 50-70 years. The calves of elephants weigh approximately 120 kilograms. Elephants are herbivores and primarily feed on sugarcane, bamboo, banana and other wild fruit and grass. The tusk of an elephant is an invaluable, chief resource for the very expensive ivory. Poachers defy all rules to gain an illegal possession of this valuable stuff.
The African elephants belong to the genera Loxodonta where as the Indian elephant belongs to the genera Elephas. There are many differences between Indian and African elephants. African elephants have much larger ears and a concave back. Tusks are there both in male and female population of elephants in Africa. An Asian male elephant alone has tusks. African elephants are less hairy than their Indian cousins.
Recent research studies conducted on extracted nuclear DNA suggest that African and Indian elephants are two distinct species altogether. The African elephants are much heavier than their Indian counterparts. Loxidonta africana is the heaviest elephant weighing around 12,000 kilograms and grows to height of 10-12 feet. The Indian elephant’s tusk is much slimmer and lighter than the African. The skin color is reddish in African elephants where as Indian elephants are brown in color.
Indian elephants are lazier than the African. African elephants lie down only when they are sick and wounded whereas Indian elephants get into a siesta frequently. African elephants have three nails on their hind foot and four on front. Indian elephants have four nails on hind foot and five on front.
The large flapping ears of elephants aid in temperature regulation. On a humid day elephants flap their ears frequently generating a fan-like effect and so breeze around them. African elephants have much bigger ears in comparison with the Indian elephants.
The gestation period of African elephant is 660 days which is slightly more than the gestation period of Indian elephant which is 610 days. This is obviously owing to the bigger size of the African elephant.
How fascinating is the world of elephants! Do you have interesting story, anecdote, fact, legend or any other stuff on elephants to share with us? Please do it right underneath this article. We shall love hearing from you.