Monday, 15 September 2008

Difference between an African and Asian Elephant

There are a number of significant differences between an African and Asian elephant. Firstly the African elephant reaches 11ft at the shoulder compared to the 10ft of the Asian. Although slightly smaller this is not all that much of a difference. A bigger difference is the size of the ears. 9 ft from tip to tip for the African, against the 5ft for the Asian.
The trunks also differ in structure, the Asiatic being smooth and tapering to a single lip while that of the African ending in 2 finger-like lips.
Foreheads also vary. The African bulges outwards, and the Asian model slopes backwards.

Also, the Asiatic female elephant has no tusks, or only have one; the African elephant has big ones, up to 3 meters long.
From what I can find out, the Asian elephant is easier to train, but that is disputed by some.
What triggered this post was the concept of War Elephants, as used by Hannibal. I am still digging around with this one, but it would appear as though elephants were used in this role form about 500bc in India. More about that later.
So, next Trivial Pursuit you will know….

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