African vs. Asian Elephants: How are they different?

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Difference between African and Asian Elephants

Elephants have always been appreciated as majestic animals. It is quite true that they are looked up to due to their size and physical power. Children everywhere are fascinated by them. In India, elephants have been used as vehicles in wars and weddings. They have played an integral part in ancient folklore and legends. In mythology, elephants are believed to be empowered with the gifts of a long memory, a strong bond with all other elephants, fierce protector as well as the most gentile and social herbivore. Elephants are associated with Indra, Ganesh and Buddha in Asia. In Africa, the elephant is associated with the most ancient tales according to the Nandi and Maasai people.

African
Asian Elephants

Region

Asian elephants exist in Indian, Bangladesh, Laos, Bhutan, Burma, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam,Thailand,Sumatra, Indonesia and Nepal. Asian elephants belong to the species of Elephas maximus. Asian elephants are endangered and exist in the world in low numbers of 40,000 to 52,345.

On the other hand, African elephants belong to the species of Loxodontaand they only live in Africa. They started inhabiting this country in the middle Pliocene period. Two subspecies of African elephants Loxodonta atlantica and Loxodonta exaptata, are already extinct due to illegal poaching and hunting.

Sizes and Body

The species of African elephant are larger than Asian elephants. Whereas the height of an African male elephant is 12 feet, an Asian elephant is only 6.6 to 11.8 feet high. The females of the African elephants have tusks which are not present in Asian elephants. If the Asian elephants have tusks, they cannot be seen and are only perceptible when she opens her jaws.

The most perceptible difference between the two is that Asian elephants have smaller ears as compared to their African siblings. African elephants are also heavier as compared to their Asian versions. They can get as heavy as 15,000 pounds or 6800 kgs. An average male weighs up to 11,900 pds or 5400kgs. The female Asian elephant is also smaller as compared to her African counterpart.

Other Features

Asian elephants can live from 60-70 years and rarely die due to starvation because of lack of tusks in old age. However, demise due to starvation upon getting old happens in case of African elephants because they tend to lose their power to chew food as they lose their tusks. Like African elephants, Asian elephants also lose teeth in old age but they have a larger number of molar plates on the tooth enamel for chewing which extends the heartiness of their teeth.

Asian elephants have a sharper backbone when compared to their Africa counterparts. Asian varieties also have 19 ribs as compared to 21 for the Africans.

Summary

  • Domestication-Unlike wild African elephants, Asian elephants have been domesticated. They are a major part of ceremonies like marriages in India. They are also employed in movies and for a wide variety of purposes like forestry and cultivation in India and in parts of South East Asia. In relation to cultivation, elephants were used for milling in ancient times but not any longer. African elephant are admired by safari goers because this elephant is still untamed and free.
  • More majestic-If you really want to see the largest examples of elephants in their glorified sizes, then visit the African elephants in Africa or at your local zoo. African elephant populations have been reduced significantly due to poaching by those who want to profit from the sale of their large tusks.
  • Cultural role-On your next visit to India you must visit the Asian elephant as they are a part of Hindu culture. Elephants are worshipped in India largely because of their association with Lord Ganesh. You are highly blessed once you worship in a temple of Lord Ganesh, who is considered to be the God of Fortune and protector of all humans.

African and Asian Elephants Video

Which elephant do you like best?
  • African
  • Asian Elephants
 
 

Discuss It: comments 3

  • Guest
  • Asian elephants wrote on May 2011

Asian elephants are generally smaller than their African bush counterparts. Asian elephants differ from their African cousins with their smaller ears and different cranial structure. Also, while both male and female African elephants have long tusks, only the male Asian elephant has visible tusks; the female Asian elephant's tusks are so short they are practically not visible.

  • Guest
  • poo wrote on June 2012

Asian elephants are generally smaller than their African bush counterparts. Asian elephants differ from their African cousins with their smaller ears and different cranial structure. Also, while both male and female African elephants have long tusks, only the male Asian elephant has visible tusks; the female Asian elephant's tusks are so short they are practically not visible

  • Guest
  • hiii wrote on December 2012

that is right what poo and Asian elephants wrote

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