The largest living land animals are the elephants. Adult Indian male elephants average about four tons in weight and 2.7 metres in height. The tallest reach 3.4 metres. African males are taller, they can reach 3.7 metres but often they are no heavier than Indian elephants. The average female of either specie is usually shorter than the male. Besides humans, elephants have few enemies to fear, and are usually peaceful and easygoing. They show sincere affection for one another and females spend their lives as members of a family herd. The elephant herd is made up of several generations of blood relatives with the occasional mating from another herd. A baby elephant takes its mother's milk with its mouth, not with its trunk. The young elephant is nursed by its mother for about two years and stays under her protection for another two years. The period between mating and the birth of a young elephant is about 22 months. Female elephants usually bear young only every four or five years. Today African elephants are found only in protected game reserves in Africa. The Asian elephant can be found in Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Malay peninsula to the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.


Research the following topics and include them in your elephant essay.

  • Family Life of the Herd
  • Structure of Elephant's Trunk
  • The Tusks
  • The Elephant's Padded Feet
  • Contrasts in African and Asian Species
  • Pygmy Elephants and Albinos
  • Folklore and Fact
  • Elephant Hunting

elephant head


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