(Elephas Maximus)

How many major kinds of Elephants are found in the world?

Three main kinds

1. Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus)

 2. African Bush Elephant (Loxodanta africana)

 3. African Forest Elephant (Loxodanta cyclotis)

What is an Asian Elephant?

Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) is a mega herbivore where the female individuals live in herd, several herds form a clan. This clan is often led by the eldest female individual (Matriarch). Male individuals are known to be roaming solitary unless they are in the mating period during which they are allowed inside a clan. Male calves upto age of 10-15years stay with the mother elephant in a clan.

How many subspecies of Asian Elephants are there?

Some of the Asian Elephant subspecies are Indian (Elephas maximus ssp. indicus), Sumatran (ssp. Sumatrensis), Borneo (ssp. Borneenisis), and Sri Lankan (ssp. maximus) elephants.

How are Asian Elephants different from African Elephants?

Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) has small ears which resembles Indian map while the African elephant (Loxodanta africana) have large ears shaped like Africa. Asian elephant has one lip at the end of its trunk while the African one has two. In Asian elephants mostly males are known to possess tusks, In case of African elephants both male and female elephants have tusks.

What is Makhna and what is Ganesh?

A male Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) which has no tusks is called Makhna and a male elephant which only tusk is called Ganesh.

Where are Asian Elephants found?

Asian elephants are found in 13 countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. In India there are four major elephant regions in India viz., Southern, Northern, North-eastern and Central. According to the recent estimation (2017) they can be found in most numbers in the Southern region.

What do Asian Elephants eat?

They mainly feed on grasses, but it also eats large amounts of tree bark, roots, leaves, and small stems. In some cases Cultivated crops such as bananas, rice, and sugarcane which might lead to negative interactions with human beings. Elephants spend 16hours in a day eating! It drinks upto 200 litre of water.

How much do Asian Elephants weigh, how tall can it grow?

Asian elephants can weigh upto 4000 kilos or 4 tonne. While they may grow up to 2.8 metre.

How long can an Asian Elephant live?

Average lifespan of Asian elephants is approximately 40-50 years, they might live longer in captive conditions.

What is the gestation period of asian elephant?

Gestation period of elephants lasts for 22-22.5 months, the time interval between each gestation would be roughly four years.

How many Asian Elephants are there?

As per All India Synchronised Elephant estimation report of the year 2017 there are ~30000 elephants out of which ~13000 are in the captivity.

What put Asian Elephants to endangerment?

Habitat fragmentation, land use change (conversion of forest land to agricultural land), degradation of habitat, iIllegal killing of elephants for ivory has landed these creatures as ‘Endangered’ on the IUCN Red list. Since 1986, the Asian elephant has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, as the population has declined by at least 50 percent over the last three elephant generations, which is about 60–75 years.

Why should we be saving Asian Elephants?

By protecting elephants, we also protect other animals that live in their habitat. Asian elephants help to maintain the integrity of forest and grassland habitats. Their large size enables the creation of pathways through dense forests along which they travel, which then creates access for other wildlife. Elephants are known to create microhabitats for species like amphibians.