Reviewing the elephant species
Elephants are the largest land mammals that started to walk the earth’s surface five to ten million years ago. Unfortunately, there’re only less than 5,00,000 of these animals left in the world. The diminishing elephant species is mainly divided into two categories – the African elephant and the Asian elephant.
When it comes to the largest elephants, African ones win the competition with an average weight of 6.5 ton and an average body length of 23ft. On the other hand, Asian elephants come with an average weight of 5.5 ton and an average body length of 19ft.
On average, Asian elephants may live up to 78 years in captivity and 60 years in wild while their African peers may live up to 65 years in captivity and 52 years in wild.
One of the largest elephants that were recorded weighed around 11,000kg with a shoulder height of 13ft.
These big elephants also boast of some distinct physical features. For example, the ears of African ones are larger while their Asian counterparts come with rounder, smaller ears.
Present day’s largest elephant species i.e. the African ones are the most vulnerable ones. Ivory has been prized for thousands of years and elephants have been brutally killed for it. In Africa, elephants continue to be under the maximum threat because of the ivory trade. On the other hand, in Asia, a more direct form of conflict between elephants and humans can be observed because of the tightly-contested rural landscapes. It’s important to note that regardless of their habitats, elephants are restricted to ever-decreasing areas of land, which is one of the biggest reasons behind increasing human-elephant conflicts.
Call to action:
What do you think can be done to protect elephants from becoming extinct? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below. To keep the conversation going, you can also get in touch with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. If you want to learn more about elephants, you can check out my book TAMBO: AN ELEPHANT ADVENTURE.
Mathiesen, Karl. “Elephants on the path to extinction – the facts.” The Guardian, August 12, 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/12/elephants-on-the-path-to-extinction-the-facts
Bradford, Alina. “Elephants: Earth’s Largest Living Land-Animals.” LIVESCIENCE, March 18, 2019. https://www.livescience.com/27320-elephants.html