The elephant is one of the largest representatives of the animal world that exists on Earth.
Previously, there were many varieties of these giants on our planet. Today, among us live an elephant African and Indian. This species of animal included mammoths, which died out during the Ice Age, and mastodons, which disappeared before the appearance of people in America, where they lived. The difference between the two remaining species is significant, so it would be appropriate to make a comparison of African and Indian elephants.
Features of life
These animals can be found in different territories of the Earth. They live in a herd, which may include from ten to thirty little elephants and elephants. It also necessarily has an adult, an authoritative leader.
Each elephant gives birth to about five elephants on average during his life. Kinship ties in the herds are very close. Thus, there are groups in which about a hundred individuals are bound by blood ties. Elephants do not have a certain place of residence. They are on the move all their life, moving from place to place, eating vegetation, and spending the night near a pond.
The main difference
What is the difference between an Indian and an African elephant? The most important difference between these two species can be seen with the naked eye. It is the size. Elephant African and Indian elephants in nature do not occur in the same area. Their habitats are located at a distance from each other, and the transportation of animals is a laborious process. But if it were real, it would be possible to notice that the African elephant is larger than his brother from India.
The largest elephant reaches a height of 4 meters. The length of his body is about 7 meters. The weight of an African elephant can reach 7 tons. In contrast, an Indian elephant weighs a maximum of 5 tons. Its height may be about 3 meters, and length – 5-6 meters. It is believed that the African elephant is a descendant of the mastodon, and the Indian elephant is a mammoth.
Ears and tusks
The African elephant differs from the Indian elephant in several details of its appearance. First, the animals from Africa have much more ears than their Indian counterparts. They can be up to 1.5 meters long. The shape of the ears of the African elephant is more round. The Indian elephant has slightly elongated and slightly pointed ears. One of the most obvious distinguishing features between these two species is the presence of tusks. African fauna representatives have them as a must.
Color and structure of the body
Elephant African and Indian elephants also differ in color. Animals from Africa have a skin color from slightly brown to gray. There are many wrinkles or wrinkles on its surface. Indian elephants are colored from dark gray to brown. A distinctive feature of their body is small vegetation on the skin.
What else is the difference between an African and an Indian elephant? Their body structure is also different. Thus, the Indian elephants have a little bit of a back with a humpback, unlike their fellow African elephants, which have a straight or slightly bent spine. Despite their smaller height, the animals from India seem to be more massive. This comes from the fact that their legs are shorter and thicker. African elephants have long legs, which is due to their type of nutrition.
They have to get vegetation out of the trees. Indian animals also eat grass as a footstep. Their trunk has one finger-shaped branch, and the African species has two of them.
If we consider the traces of these animals, we can say with certainty what kind of elephant passed here. This is possible due to the peculiarities of the limbs of these giants from different continents. African elephants usually have five hooves on their front legs (less often – four). The hind limbs of these animals have three hooves. Indian elephants have five hooves on the front legs and four on the hind legs. Therefore, even on the trail, you can determine the type of animal.
The African and Indian elephants have external differences, which can be seen even by an expert in this field. Coming to the zoo or circus, you can easily identify the type of animal. But they also have some internal features that can not be recognized by an ordinary person.
Thus, an African elephant has 21 pairs of ribs. In contrast, an animal from another continent has only 19 pairs of these bones. Indian elephants have 26 caudal vertebrae, and their African counterparts have 33 caudal vertebrae. There are also differences in the structure of the root teeth.
Indian elephants have puberty by the age of 15-20 years. In this, they are ahead of their parents from the African continent. In the latter, this period comes at the age of 25 years.