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Kruger National Park

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How do African and Asian elephants differ?

Asian elephant
Elephas maximus

African elephant
Loxodonta Africana

 

Weight of males

Smaller - 3 000 - 5 000 kg

Larger - weighs between 4 000 - 6 300 kg

Height at shoulder

Shorter - 2 - 3.5m

Taller - 3 - 4m

Highest point

Top of head

Top of shoulder

Shape of back

Convex (bends up) or level.
Humped.

Concave (bends down).
Curved.

Shape of head

Compressed, dorsal bulges, dished forehead. Two bumps

No compression, no bulges, no dish. One bump

Ears

Small (do not exceed the height of the neck)

Large (exceeding height of neck)

Skin

Wrinkled

Very wrinkled

Teeth

Narrow compressed loops on chewing surface

Lozenge-shaped loops on chewing surface

Tusks

Only in males.

In both sexes, longer in males.

Trunk

Less rings, more rigid.
Tip of trunk has one ‘finger'.
Wrinkled.

Has more rings, less rigid.
Tip of trunk has two ‘fingers'.
Distinct ring patterns.

Toenails

Front foot: 5
Hind foot: 4 or 5

Front foot: 4 or 5
Hind foot, 3, 4 or 5

Ribs

Up to 20 pairs

Up to 21 pairs