Difference Between African and Indian Elephant (With Table)

Elephants are the largest terrestrial animals on the planet. Despite their vast size, their sweetness and joyous temperament captivate the hearts of mankind. Elephants are only found in Africa and Asia, but also the two have distinct morphological characteristics.

Elephants are ecosystem engineers who play an essential part in preserving the high level of biodiversity of something like the habitat they share with other creatures. Despite the fact that elephants are only found in Asia and Africa, they have important cultural and metaphorical importance all over the world.

African Elephant vs Indian Elephant

The main difference between African elephants and Indian elephants is that African elephants seem to be heavier and stronger than Indian elephants. There are several physical differences between the two. The size of their ears and the form of their skulls help to recognize them.

African elephants are massive and hefty beasts. Tusks are found on all African elephants. They have big heads and enormous fan-shaped ears. Their snout and upper lip join to form trunks, which have two finger-like structures on the ends. This trunk serves several functions and is extremely important to elephants.

Indian elephants are much less in size than African elephants. Their ears are little, but their tails are long. Tusks are only found on male Indian elephants. These animals have two domes on the tops of their heads. They spent their time traveling a vast distance, so they are critical for the ecosystem to function correctly.

Comparison Table Between African and Indian Elephant

Parameters of ComparisonAfrican ElephantIndian Elephant
TrunkAfrican elephants have thickly ringed trunks.The trunks of Indian elephants are not as hefty as those of African elephants.
WeightAn African elephant weighs between 4,000 and 7,500kg on average.An Indian elephant weighs respectively 3000-5,000kg on average.
Shape of headThe skulls of African elephants are larger and rounder. Their heads have a single dome on top.The head of an Indian elephant is indeed twin-domed with a central depression.
SizeAfrican elephants outnumber Indian elephants in size.Elephants in India are smaller than elephants in Africa.
RibsAfrican elephants do have more ribs than Asian elephants.Indian elephants possess fewer ribs than African elephants.
TusksFemales and males African elephants both seem to have tusks.Tusks are only found on very few male Indian elephants.
TailThe tail of an African elephant is short.The tails of Indian elephants are longer.

What is African Elephant?

African elephants are indeed the largest land animals on the planet. An adult African elephant may grow to reach 7.5 meters long and weigh between 4,000 and 7,500 kg. These elephants may live for roughly 70 years.

The trunks of these mammals are composed of their nose and also their upper lips. These elephants even drink, smell, and breathe through their trunks. They even use its trunk to handle food and other things, as well as to communicate.

African elephants are categorized into two types: African forest elephants and the other one is African Savanna elephants. The skulls and ears of these elephants are also different in size and shape. 

The African woodland elephant is considerably smaller and also has various colored tusks. Tusks are seen in both genders of African elephants. Where males have greater than females tusks.

The tusks of bush elephants generally curved, but those of forest elephants remain straight. African elephants eat the branches and leaves of shrubs and trees. They may consume bark and fruits. These elephants could consume roughly 136kg of food per day.

What is Indian Elephant?

An adult Indian elephant may grow to be 2-3 meters long and weigh between 3000-5,000 kg. An Indian elephant has a life expectancy of 48 years.

In comparison to other elephants, they have long tails. They have huge heads but littlenecks, therefore their body weight is supported by their legs. The trunks of Indian elephants have no bones and are made up of 40,000 muscles.

Because Indian elephants spend most of the day roaming, they require quite extensive living places. They live in a variety of habitats, ranging from woodland to grassland. These creatures eat for 19 hours a day.

They mostly eat grass, although they also ingest fruits such as bananas and sugarcane. They also consume the stems, roots, and bark of plants. They defecate 16-18 times a day while wandering, and as a result, they cover a wide area of soil with feces, which serves to disperse seeds and nutrients.

This is why elephants have earned the title of an ecosystem engineer. Elephants devour flora as well as a clear area for new possibilities. Elephants are intelligent animals with complicated social lives, much like humans.

Main Differences Between African and Indian Elephant

  1. Even if both African and Indian elephants take comparable foods, African elephants usually consume branches and leaves of trees and bushes, whereas Indian elephants primarily consume grass.
  2. African elephants possess huge ears, while Indian elephants possess shorter ears.
  3. African elephants is much larger than Indian elephants. They exceed Indian elephants in size.
  4. African elephants do have spherical head because they have a single dome on their head. Indian elephants, do have twin-domed head due to an indent in the centre of their skull.
  5. Elephant tusks are a remarkable feature. However, not every elephants have tusks. Just few male Indian elephants possess tusks. African elephants, both female and male, have tusks. Meanwhile, the male Indian elephants tusks are much more thicker and curved than among African elephants. The teeth of Indian elephants are more densely packed.

Conclusion

The size of their ears and the form of their skulls are the easiest ways to distinguish the two species. Their trunks are an intriguing characteristic.

Elephants play an important part in ecosystem maintenance by dispersing seeds and nutrients through their feces. However, resulting in a loss of forest and human killing, elephants are at risk of becoming extinct. The ivory trade has resulted in the extinction of 50 percent of Indian elephants and 90 percent of African elephants over the last century. International elephant conservation has recently prioritized the control of ivory stockpiles.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zunYrumtsR8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA331&dq=essay+on+african+elephants+&ots=3DwzKQqh3r&sig=KRZhnWPC1y-0j_a2PgBiGvvP4Tw
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc1309895/