Head and body length is 550 to 640 cm and shoulder height is 250 to 300 cm. The skin is thick and dry, and the few hairs are stiff. Skin color varies from grey to brown. In contrast to African elephants, Asian elephants have ears that are much smaller, the back is not as sloping, the head rather than the shoulders is the highest part of the body, the trunk has a single finger-like projection rather than two, and the hind foot has 4 nails rather than 3. The cylindrical feet consist of reduced phalanges resting on a pad of elastic tissue. The cerebral hemisphere is quite convoluted, resembling that of humans and dolphins. The elephant's teeth are unique. They have a limited number of very large teeth that move forward in the mouth as the animal ages; as the front teeth are worn away with use they are replaced from behind. If an elephant lives long enough to have used up all of its teeth it then starves to death. In males, a pair of incisors is elongated (growing 17 cm per year throughout the animal's life) into tusks. Unlike African elephant females, Asian females do not bear tusks.
Range mass: 3000 to 5000 kg.
Range length: 550 to 640 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: male larger; ornamentation
Average basal metabolic rate: 2336.5 W.
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