Tami Nadu - Wildlife of Tamil Nadu - Asian Elephant of Tamilnadu

Asian Elephant of Tamilnadu

The Asian or Asiantic Elephant , sometimes known by the name of one of its subspecies, the Indian Elephant, is one of the three living species of elephant, and the only living species of the genus Elephas. It is the largest living land animal in Asia. The species is found primarily in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Indochina and parts of Nepal and Indonesia Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Bhutan, and Samatra. It is considered endangered, with between 41,410 and 52,345 left in the wild.

This animal is widely domesticated, and has been used in forestry in South and Southeast Asia for centuries and also in ceremonial purposes. Historical sources indicate that they were sometimes used during the harvest season primarily for milling. Wild elephants attract tourist money to the areas where they can most readily be seen, but damage crops, and may enter villages to raid gardens.

Description

climate Aisan elephants generally live in hot climates because they cannot stand the cold. Fun fact asian elephants generally are grey but can be a brown or a dark white The Asian Elephant is slightly smaller than its African relatives; the easiest way to distinguish the two is that the Asian elephant has smaller ears. The Asian Elephant tends to grow to around 2 to 3.6 meters in weight.

Elephants skin is 3-4cm thick. Elephants eat up to 149-169kg of vegetation a day

The Asian Elephant has other differences from its African relatives, including a more arched back than the African, one semi-prehensile "finger" at the tip of its trunk as opposed to two, four nails on each hind foot instead of three, and 19 pairs of ribs instead of 21. Also, unlike the African Elephant, the female Asian Elephant usually lacks tusks; if tusks in that case called "tushes" ome males may also lack tusks; these individuals are called "makhnas", and are especially common among the Sri Lankan elephant population. Furthermore, the forehead has two hemispherical bulges, unlike the flat front of the African elephant. Unlike African elephants which rarely use their forefeet for anything other than digging or scraping soil, Asian elephants are more agile at using their feet in conjunction with the trunk for manipulating objects. The Asian elephant also has very thin eyes and a yellow hide in the summer.

Asian Elephant of Tamilnadu

Scientific classification

Kingdom:

Animalia

Phylum:

Colbata

Class:

Mammalia

Order:

Proboscidea

Family:

Elephantidae

Genus:

Elephas

Species:

E. maximus

 

Size

The sizes of elephants in the wild have been exaggerated in the past. However, record elephants may have measured as high as 12 feet (3.7 m) at the shoulder. Height is often estimated using the rule of thumb of twice the forefoot circumference.

Richard Lydekker documents sizes observed in the 19th century: "The height of the adult male usually does not exceed nine feet, and that of the female eight feet; but these dimensions are occasionally considerably exceeded. George P. Sanderson measured a male standing nine feet seven inches at the shoulder, and measuring twenty-six feet two and one-half inches from the tip of the trunk to the extremity of the tail; and he records others respectively reaching nine feet eight inches and nine feet ten inches at the shoulder. An elephant shot by General Kinloch stood upward of ten feet one inch; and another measured by Sanderson ten feet seven and one-half inches. These dimensions are, however, exceeded by a specimen killed by the late Sir Victor Brooke, which is reported to have reached a height of eleven feet: and there is a rumor of a Ceylon elephant of twelve feet. That such giants may occasionally exist is indicated by a skeleton in the Museum at Calcutta, which is believed to have belonged to an individual living between 1856 and 1860 in the neighborhood of the Rajamahal hills, in Bengal. As now mounted this enormous skeleton stands eleven feet three inches at the shoulders, but Mr. O. S. Fraser, in a letter to the Asian newspaper, states that it is made to stand too low, and that its true height was several inches more. If this be so, there can be no doubt that, when alive, this elephant must have stood fully twelve feet."

A record tusk described by George P. Sanderson measured five feet along the curve, with a girth of sixteen inches (406 mm) at the point of emergence from the jaw, the weight being one hundred and four and one-half pounds. This was from an elephant killed by Sir V. Brooke and measured eight feet in length, and nearly seventeen inches in circumference, and weighed ninety pounds. This tusk's weight is, however, exceeded by [the weight of] a shorter tusk of about six feet in length which weighed one hundred pounds.[4] The heaviest wild male recorded was shot by the Maharajah of Susang in the Garo Hills of Assam, India in 1924, and was 8 tonnes (8.8 short tons), 3.35 m (11.1 ft) tall and 8.06 m (26.6 ft) long.

Behavior

In the wild, elephant herds follow well-defined seasonal migration routes. These are made around the monsoon seasons, often between the wet and dry zones, and it is the task of the eldest elephant to remember and follow the traditional migration routes.[citation needed] When human farms are founded along these old routes there is often considerable damage done to crops, and it is common for elephants to be killed in the ensuing conflicts. The adult Asian Elephant has no natural predators, but young elephants may fall prey to tigers.
A herd of wild Indian elephants in the Jim Corbett National Park, India.

Elephants life spans have been exaggerated in the past and live on average for 60 years in the wild and 80 in captivity.[6] They eat 10% of their body weight each day, which for adults is between 170-200 kilograms of food per day. They need 80–200 litres of water a day, and use more for bathing. They sometimes scrape the soil for minerals.

Elephants use infrasound to communicate; this was first noted by the Indian naturalist M. Krishnan and later studied by Katherine Payne.

 

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