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Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) complete detail

Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) complete detail – updated. Description of Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus). Classification of Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus). Habit and habitat of Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus).
Size of adult elephant is between 5.0 cm to 6.4 meter. They are about 2.0 to 3.2 meter high at the shoulder. The weight of adult is between 2000 to 6000 kg. Color of body is dark grey to brown or light black. They have four nails on each hind foot. The long, strong trunk ends in a single lip, in contrast with two equal sized lips in the African species. Their head has two domes rather than one, and they have smaller ears. The back is more rounded so that the crown of the head is the highest point of the body…………
They inhabit a wide range of grasslands and forest types, including scrub forest, rain-forest and semi-cultivated forests, preferring areas that combine grass with low woody plants and trees. Males leave their natal group when then reach sexual maturity. Their brain weigh around 5 kg. They (Generally male) have unique modified incisor…………..
There is no specific mating season for the Indian Elephants. Both sexes may become sexually mature at as early as 8 to 10 years, but males usually do not reach sexual activity until 14 to 18 years.
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Click here to view State wise list of Indian state animals (symbols) – updated

Distinctive Identification

Indian elephant is a Schedule – I animal, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Endangered (EN) by the IUCN.

Size of adult elephant is between 5.0 cm to 6.4 meter. They are about 2.0 to 3.2 meter high at the shoulder. The weight of adult is between 2000 to 6000 kg.

Color of body is dark grey to brown or light black, and often lacking pigment in patches on the trunk, ears and neck, which consequently appear light or dark pink.

They have four nails on each hind foot. The long, strong trunk ends in a single lip, in contrast with two equal sized lips in the African species.

Their head has two domes rather than one, and they have smaller ears. The back is more rounded so that the crown of the head is the highest point of the body.

Their brain weigh around 5 kg. They (Generally male) have unique modified incisor teeth known as tusks, which are actually incisor teeth made of ivory that can measure up to 4 to 6 feet in length.

The tusks of females scarcely protrude or perhaps protrude a few inches. The elephant uses its tusks to dig for food, clear debris and carry heavy logs.

The trunk provides a wide variety of functions from feeding, vocalization, bathing and fighting.

The males are typically larger than females.

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Classification

Common Name – Indian elephant

Local Name – Elephant / Hathi

Zoological Name – Elephas maximus indicus

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Mammalia

Order – Proboscidea

Family – Elephantidae

Genus – Elephas

Conservational Status – Schedule – I, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Endangered (EN) by the IUCN.

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Distribution

They found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Laos, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The Sri Lankan and Sumatran elephant of Indonesia are restricted to their respective islands.

In India, they found in Uttar Pradesh, Yamuna River, foot of the Himalayas in Uttaranchal, northern West Bengal, foothills of Nagaland, Garo Hills, Khasi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh, Lower Brahmaputra, Barak Valley, western Assam, Mishmi Hills, Karbi Plateau, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Barak Valley, Western Ghats, Bhadra-Malnad, Eastern Ghats, Nilambur-Silent Valley, and Nilgiris.

Habit and habitat

They inhabit a wide range of grasslands and forest types, including scrub forest, rainforest and semi-cultivated forests, preferring areas that combine grass with low woody plants and trees. They are usually found in thick forests and moist deciduous lush green and semi-green forests.

Indian elephant is a social animal and occur in groups of related females, led by the oldest female.

Males leave their natal group when then reach sexual maturity. Once infants reach sexual maturity, females tend to stay with the herd, while males are driven away and may form small bachelor groups, or roam independently. The females remain in small family herds led by a matriarch who tends to be the oldest, largest and most experienced female.

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Indian elephant is a mega-herbivores animal, they consume up to 120 kg of grasses and other plant matter per day. They feed on wide variety of vegetation including grasses, leaves, shoots, barks, fruits, nuts and seeds.

They also need to drink up to 160 liters of water every day, and their trunk can take in 5-10 liters in one suck.

Elephants are highly intelligent and long-lived animals. Elephants are able to swim for long distances.

Elephants have far superior hearing than humans and their large ears act as amplifiers. They have excellent sense of smell. The Indian Elephant’s eyes are small and they have poor eyesight.

One of the softest parts of their body is at the back of the ears, which is called the knuckle. Elephant trainers, use their feet to steer or give commands to the animal via the knuckle at the back of the ears.

When males reach 20 years old they start coming into ‘musth’, an extreme state of arousal when levels of testosterone in the blood may increase 20 times. This state lasts about three weeks and during this time the individual will become aggressive and wander widely in search of females.

There is no specific mating season for the Indian Elephants. Both sexes may become sexually mature at as early as 8 to 10 years, but males usually do not reach sexual activity until 14 to 18 years.

Click here to view State wise list of Indian state birds (symbols) – updated

When the habitat conditions are favorable, female elephants may give birth to a calf every 2.5-4 years, otherwise every 5-8 years.

Gestation period is between 19.5 to 21.5 months. Child of Indian elephant, remains with its mother until it is around 5 years old and gains its independence, with males often leaving the herd and female calves staying. The average lifespan of Indian elephant is 60 years.

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