African vs Asian Elephant

Posted by Borja Pérez on

Did you know that the African elephant has a distant relative in Asia? It is the Asian elephant, an amazing species that differs from the African in size, shape of the ears and even in the head.

These are the main differences between the Asian elephant and the African elephant.

Elephant differences


Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants. The Asian is about two meters tall, six meters long and weighs 5,000 kilos, while the African reaches 3.5 meters high, seven long and 7,000 kilos. With this size, the African elephant is the largest terrestrial mammal in the animal world.
Elephant Size


The shape of the ears is another clue that will help us identify the species of elephant. The Asian has small and rounded ears, while the African has larger ones, so much that they fall on his shoulders. Interestingly, its shape reminds the African continent.
Elephant Ear


Another difference is found in the trunk: the Asian has only one lobe at the upper end. It is a kind of protrusion-similar to a finger-that allows them to grab small objects. On the other hand, African elephants have two lobes in the trunk, one above and one below. If you see an elephant without fangs, surely it is an Asian female. Only the Asian males look long and big fangs. In Africa, all elephants have fangs.
Elephant Trunk


The number of toes of their legs is another characteristic that differentiates them: the Asian elephant has five fingers on the front legs and four on the hind legs. The African can have four or five fingers on the front legs and three on the back legs. In addition, the tail of the Asian is proportionally longer than the African.
Elephant Toes


Finally, the shape of the elephant's body will reveal its origin. The back of the Asian is shaped like an arch, with the highest point in the center of the back. In contrast, the African has the highest point of the back on the shoulders.

Evolution of elephants

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