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Indian Elephant
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Elephas
Species: E. maximus
Subspecies: E. m. indicus
Trinomial name
Elephas maximus indicus
Cuvier, 1798
An elephant named Sri Hari during Sree Poornathrayesa temple festival, Thrippunithura.

The Indian Elephant, Elephas maximus indicus, is one of four subspecies of the Asian Elephant, the largest population of which is found in India. This subspecies is also found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Burma/Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The other three subspecies of the Asian Elephant are the Sumatran Elephant (E. m. sumatranus), Sri Lankan Elephant (E. m. maximus)[1] and Borneo Elephant (E. m. borneensis).

Contents

Habitats

Indian Elephants live in or near the forest jungle, although their habitat may vary. They tend to be nomadic and roaming in nature and do not stay in one place for more than a few days. They can live in jungles but gravitate towards areas that contain open space and grass.

Physical characteristics

Size

The Indian Elephant is up to 6.4 metres (21 ft) long.[citation needed] Its height at the shoulder is between 2 and 3.5 metres (6.6 and 11 ft) and it weighs between 2.7 and 4.5 tonnes (3.0 and 5.0 short tons).[1] It is taller and thinner than the Asian elephant found in Thailand. The largest Indian Elephant was 8 metres (26 ft) long, stood 3.5 metres (11 ft) and weighed 8 tonnes (8.8 short tons).[citation needed]

Body structure

Since Indian Elephants are a subspecies of the Asian Elephants, there are not many differences. Indian elephants have smaller ears, but relatively broader skulls and larger trunks than African elephants. Females are smaller than males and have little or no tusks. Toes are large and broad. The feet and nails are not large. Unlike their African cousins, their abdomen is proportionate with their body weight but the African elephant has a large abdomen as compared to the skulls.

Population & endangerment

The WWF considers the Indian Elephant widely distributed, but endangered. The current population of the Indian Elephant is in the range of 20,000-25,000[2]. The Indian Elephant was assessed as an endangered species in 1996 by the Asian Elephant Specialist Group. [3] Indian Elephants are threatened by poaching for the ivory of their tusks, by the loss of habitat due to human pressure on forested areas and due to human conflict. The isolated populations of wild elephants in individual wildlife sanctuaries are also threatened by loss of habitat.

See also

References

External links








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