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Brief Summary

Comprehensive Description

Evolution

    The Asian or Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus)
    provided by EOL authors

    EVOLUTION:

    AsianElephant (Elephasmaximus)

    TheMeaningoftheWord“Elephant”

    ThewordelephanthasbothGreekandLatinorigins.Thisappliesspecificallytotheelephant’sscientificgenusname“Elephas”.InGreeklinguistics,elephosrepresentsanantleredbeastorstag.

    TherootsofthewordelephantinLatinisdividedintotwowords:“ele”whichmeansarchand“phant”whichmeanshuge.

    Thegenusname,Loxodonta,fortheAfricanelephantmeanslozenge-shapedteethforthechewingsurfaces.

    TheorderunderwhichElephantsareclassifiedistheProboscidea.Thisisforoneoftheelephant'smostinterestingphysicalfeatures.Itissomethingthatattractscuriosityfromaroundtheworldforelephantsalongwithmanyotheraspectsinthepastonlyascribedtothehuman,suchas,rudimentarytooluse,complexsocialbehaviours,andreverenceforadeadfamilymemberorfriend.Itistheirtrunkorproboscis;themeaningofProboscideaspeciesissimplyanimalswithtrunks/proboscis.

    ElephasMaximus/AsianElephant(Genus)

    Ataboutthesametimethatthemammothwascomingintoexistence,sowastheAsianelephant,Elephas.ItalsooriginatedinAfricaanditisbelievedtohaveastrongerevolutionarytietomammothsthanithaswithAfricanelephants.

    AsianelephantsspreadthroughoutEurasiaandtheynowexistinIndia,SriLanka,China,BangladeshandSoutheastAsia.ElephasmaximusindicusistheIndiansubspecies.ElephasmaximussumatranusisthesubspeciesofSumatra.OntheislandofSriLanka,thereisalsoasubspeciescalledElephasmaximusmaximus.Theisolationthattheislandhasprovidedhasallowedadivergentevolutiontooccur.Mostofthebullstherearetuskless,thoughtheyarenotaseparatespecies.Thismaybetheresultofaselectionprocessinwhich,overaperiodofcenturies,bullswithparticularlylargetuskswereshotbyivoryhuntersandhadfeweroffspringasaresult.Thisisasad,butinterestingexampleoftherolethathumanscanplayintheevolutionofotherspecies.