What Is The Difference Between An African Elephant And An Indian Elephant?



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The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the largest living land animal, weighing up to 8.25 tons (7,500 kilograms) and standing 10 to 13 feet (3 to 4 meters) at the shoulder. The Indian elephant (Elephas maximus) weighs about 6 tons (5,500 kilograms) with a shoulder height of 10 feet (3 meters). Other differences are:

African elephant Indian elephant
Larger ears Smaller ears
Gestation period of about 660 days Gestation period of about 610 days
Ear tops turn backward Ear tops turn forward
Concave back Convex back
Three toenails on hind feet Four toenails on hind feet
Larger tusks Smaller tusks
Two finger-like lips at tips of trunk One lip at tip of trunk

Sources: Macdonald, David W., ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals, pp. 452-53; New Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., vol. 4, pp. 441-42; Voelker, William. The Natural History of Living Mammals, pp. 239-40.

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