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IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Description

Asian elephants are smaller than their African savannah relatives (Loxodonta africana) and have many other physical features that distinguish them. The ears are smaller and the back is more rounded so that the crown of the head is the highest point of the body (2). One of the characteristic features of an elephant are the modified incisor teeth which are known as tusks, however, only some male Asian elephants have tusks, whilst females (cows) have 'tushes' instead, that are seldom visible (3). Elephants support their stocky body on stout, pillar-like legs, and the nose and upper lip are joined and elongated into a trunk (3). The trunk provides a wide variety of functions from feeding, vocalisation, bathing and fighting; those of the Asian elephant have only a single finger-like process on the base, whilst the African elephant has two (4). The thick, wrinkly skin covering the body is a greyish-brown colour and very dry (5).

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Source: ARKive

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