Elephants are the world's largest land mammals. The African bush elephant, African forest elephant, and Asian elephant are the three species currently recognised. The Indian Elephant is one of the Asian Elephant's recognised subspecies.
Elephants can be found in a variety of habitats throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, including savannahs, forests, deserts, and marshes. They are herbivores who prefer to be near water when it is available. Because of their impact on their environments, they are classified as keystone species
. Elephants live in a fission–fusion society, which means that multiple family groups socialise together.
ABOUT INDIAN ELEPHANT:
On the Asian mainland, the Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) is a subspecies of the Asian elephant. Other Asian elephant subspecies can be found on the islands of Sri Lanka and Sumatra.
Indian elephants are a subspecies of Asian elephants that are greyish-black in colour. They stand between 6.6 and 11.5 feet tall and weigh between 4000 and 1000 pounds.
Elephas maximus indicus is the scientific name for these elephants, who have long, boneless trunks. Approximately 40,000 muscles are known to make up the trunks.
Elephants in India are known to be sociable animals who show a wide range of emotions. They are extremely perceptive and expressive.
INDIAN ELEPHANT APPEARANCE
These elephants are massive creatures, measuring 18 to 21 feet tall and weighing up to 8,000 pounds in males. Their necks are small, despite their large heads. The legs have to do a lot of work to carry such a heavy load.
While the tails of other elephant breeds are shorter, this elephant's tail is extremely long. The tail, which matches their greyish colour, can be as long as their knees, brushing the ground with the coarse hair that hangs from the bottom of the tail.
The Indian elephant's trunks are perhaps its most fascinating feature. While the trunk covers a significant portion of the body, it is devoid of any bones. Instead, as stated in the preceding facts, this powerful extremity is made up of 40,000 muscles that are divided into 150,000 distinct sections.
The elephant's muscled trunk is essential for survival, as it allows them to cool off by splashing, hydrate by bringing water to their mouth, tear down food to eat, and express themselves.
INDIAN ELEPHANT HABITAT
Elephants can be found in a variety of habitats, but they prefer forests, grasslands, and scrublands. Aside from that, they can be found in man-made forests. Herds that live near villages may reverse these habits when they sleep at night in normal circumstances to remain vigilant against potential human threats.
They can be found in Cambodia, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, among other Southeast Asian countries. These areas provide a significant number of plants for Indian elephants to eat, but they are dwindling.
The habitats of humans and Indian elephants in the region are beginning to collide. This combination can lead to a major conflict, forcing them to abandon their natural habitat and reducing their population. While efforts to resolve the conflict are underway, humans have been harassed, injured, and even killed in the process.
INDIAN ELEPHANT PREDATORS AND THREATS
These animals have few predators due to their enormous size and weight. Bengal tigers are known to eat them, but only the baby Indian elephants are targeted because they are easier to hunt due to their smaller size than the larger ones. Many of the tiger attacks have been reported in Uttarakhand's Jim Corbett National Park.
Humans and their daily lives pose the greatest threat to the Indian elephant. Poaching is still a major threat to these animals because their tusks are used to make ivory, but the danger extends beyond that. The loss of habitat has resulted in violent clashes between humans in the area. These humans lose money while the elephants look for food in farmlands. However, both sides' violent responses have resulted in the deaths of nearly 500 people each year.
INDIAN ELEPHANT FACTS
• There are no bones in this elephant's trunk. The entire trunk is made up of 40,000 muscles, which is about 62 times the number of muscles in the entire human body, despite the fact that it includes both the upper lip and the nose.
• To raise their calves, mothers enlist the help of other females in their herd. Aunties are the names given to these helpful females, and fathers play a minor role.
• They can drink up to 200 litres of water per day during the hot months. This heavy drinking suggests that the mammal can drink almost three times their body weight in water per month.
• An adult Indian elephant weighs between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds and stands between 18 and 21 feet tall. Their body, head, and trunk are all included in this measurement. Even a baby can grow to be quite large, weighing in at several hundred pounds.
•An Indian elephant eats for 19 hours every day.
MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFRICAN AND INDIAN ELEPHANT:
Asian elephants are smaller and have smaller ears than their African counterparts, and the back of the Indian elephant is more rounded, making the crown of the head the highest point of the body. The African Elephant has a two-fingered tip to its trunk, whereas the Indian Elephant only has one, and the male Indian Elephant's tusks are more curved and thicker than the African's.
In fact, genetic studies have revealed that Asian Elephants are more closely related to the extinct Woolly Mammoth than African Elephants, implying that their differences go beyond appearances.