Elephant is the largest land animals in the world. Despite having a very large body, elephants are herbivorous animal. An elephant can eat hundreds of kilograms of leaves every day.
Nowadays, the largest elephant species spreading in the world are the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus).
This African elephant and Asian elephant live extensively throughout sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Besides that, here are 7 Animals Native To South East Asia.
These both of elephants have a large body. They both use their trunk and tusks as tools for protecting themselves. Although at glance they look similar, but they have many differences.
In fact, there are genetic differences in these two large mammals, making them unable to interbreed. The only child from their interbreeding only survived for two weeks.
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Well, what are the differences between these two species of these large mammals?
The difference between African elephants and Asian elephants can be seen from the shape of their head. The forehead of an African elephant is relatively flat and full while the Asian elephant has a hump from its forehead to the top of its head.
In addition, the head of an African elephant has a single dome while the Asian elephant has two domes on the side of its head. The two domes are separated by indentation lines in the middle of the head from above the forehead area to between the eyes.
2. Body Size
They have the same big body size, but African elephants are relatively much larger in size with a height of 2.5 to 4 meters to the shoulder. Meanwhile, Asian elephants have a smaller body size with a height of 2 to 3 meters to the shoulder.
Then, the weight of African elephants is 2.2 to 6.3 tons greater than Asian elephants’ which is only between 2 to 5.5 tons.
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The difference between African elephants and Asian elephants can be easily distinguished by comparing their textures and skin colour.
African elephants have more wrinkled and dark grey to black skin. Meanwhile, Asian elephants have smoother and brighter skin.
Trunk is usually used by elephants to smell, compete, breathe, drink and even grab something. There are differences in the trunk of African elephants and Asian elephants. You should know 5 Differences Between Llama And Alpaca as well.
African elephants have a more proboscular trunk and less hard texture. The Asian elephant has a bit of a circular line and hard texture.
In addition, the African elephant has two protrusions like fingers at the tip of its trunk. Asian elephant only has one finger at the tip of its trunk. This makes Asian elephants have to wrap food with their trunk before feeding on.
The size and shape of the ears is very important for elephants. The ears are used as an adaptation to their habitat environment.
Well, African elephant has bigger ears. Its huge ears will help it to be approved of the extremely hot African environment. Big ears will ease to releasing its body heat.
Meanwhile, the ears of Asian elephants are much smaller. The temperature in Asia is relatively cooler so that the ears are smaller and do not even exceed its neck.
Tusks are an incisors of an elephant that grow from the upper jaw. Usually, the tusks are used by elephants to lift stones, remove tree barks and uproot plants. Tusks are also used as an instrument to protect elephants from disturbances.
Both male and female African elephants have tusks. However, the tusks of male African elephants are larger than females’. In fact, their tusks are also softer and seem like having more circular patterns.
Meanwhile, only male Asian elephants have tusks. There are some female Asian elephants that have small tusks or no tusks at all. The tusks are harder than the tusks of an African elephant. However, the tusks have less circular patterns.
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As detailed, you will find the small thing differenced in these two big elephants. The lip of the African elephant will be shorter with a circular shape. Meanwhile, Asian elephants have a longer and tapered lip.
The number of toenails of African elephants and Asian elephants is also different. Asian elephants have five forefeet toenails and four to five rear toe nails while African elephants only have three forefeet toenails and three to four rear toenails.
These are the differences between African elephants and Asian elephants. Although having the physical differences, African elephants and Asian elephants have the same social structure. A group of elephants will be leaded by the oldest female elephant.