Indian elephant of the Red Book photo and description, appearance and nutrition, meaning for humans

Indian elephant is a very large mammalian. The Elephas genus originated on the African continent during the Pliocene period. Further, the species began to spread through the continent. After that, animals began to appear in Asia. Indian elephants play a large role, are considered sacred animals in India, they are symbols of wisdom. These animals constantly take part in ceremonies in religions such as Hinduism.

For example, albino elephants usually carry statues of gods in the Kerala. There they are practically the property of the temple. Representatives of the first religion believe in Ganesha God depicted in the form of a man with an elephant head.

Engravings were found, which date back to the 3rd millennium BC.e. They were found in the valley of the indo.

Types of Indian elephants

By origin, the Indian elephant belongs to the subspecies of the Asian. In addition to Indian, the Sumatran subspecies, Sri-Lanka and Borneo elephants.

Sumatran elephant

Indian elephant is more common. Now in Asia there are places where Indian elephants live, which tourists love so much. There are often bad animals. Perhaps people use excessive friendliness of elephants.

The height of the Indian elephant ranges from 2 to 3 meters, and mammals weigh from 2 tons to 5. They have 38 ribs. The length of the body can reach 600 650 centimeters.

Animal skin is thick and pretty dry. It usually has gray or brown color. Depigmentation spots may occur. Long tail and trunk make it possible to move both accurately and directed and powerful. Male animals have incisors, that is, tusks. Sexual dimorphism is expressed that females are smaller and they usually have no tusks.

Elephant on Sri Lanka

Indian elephants have many devices that help them survive in the most unusual conditions. So, the elephant has about 150 thousand muscles. They use tusks to uproot the roots, because they grind. However, these modified incisors grow by about 10 cm per year.

Elephants have large heads, but mammals’ neck is thin and small. The legs of the animals are very powerful. The ears of the elephants of the Indian subspecies are large, they are needed for thermoregulation and communication with relatives.

What is the difference between the African elephant and Indian

The ears of African elephants are much larger and rounder, and the spine is more straight. They also have more wrinkles on the skin, and at the end of the trunk there are 2 processes. African elephants weigh almost 7 tons against 3 tons of Indian elephant.

Photo of the African elephant

What they eat

Elephants are herbivores, usually they eat more than 100 kg of food per day. In the south of India, individuals were found, which are fed by 112 types of vegetation, usually these are herbs related to legumes. Animals also love sedgeal herbs. It is interesting that these animals can drink 200 liters of liquid per day.

ASAAM elephants living in deciduous forests include about two dozen herbs, trees in their diet. There are Lersia among them, but this species is not very popular among elephants of a different area.

Food consumption volumes depend on the season. In early April, shoots appear, which elephants love and eat a large number of them very much. Then getting a plant from under the ground becomes more difficult, because the herbs become very high: more than half a meter. In the autumn period, animals willingly eat bamboo seedlings, plant stalks and shoots.

In the winter, Indian elephants are actively looking for fresh leaves, feed mainly at prickly acacia, that is, the white appearance of this plant. They eat woody apples, tamarind and the fruits of the finite palm.

In Bardia National Park Nepal, elephants use a lot of grass in the winter season, its number increases during the period of monsoons. When the weather is dry, animals eat more bark. It is relevant in cool.


Indian elephants migrate along strictly defined routes that depend on the monsoons. The leader of the herd remembers the route and is obliged to remind it to the whole clan. Typically, these mammals migrate in the gap between the humid and dry season. This process is complicated by the fact that farms can meet on animals and then elephants greatly harm the lands.

Animals do not tolerate the heat when the cold is not terrible for them. At noon, individuals prefer to spend time in the shade and cool themselves, waving ears. Mammals pour themselves with water, lay in mud lakes, which helps to protect themselves from insects and the appearance of burns. Elephants love to move, the structure of the foot allows the animals to calmly move around the swamps.

If the elephant is frightened, then the speed of its movement can reach 48 kilometers per hour. In case of such a situation, the animal raises the tail, preventing the rest of the herd. Animals also swim well. They sleep about 4 hours a day, moreover, they do it standing, if these are not sick individuals or not kids. The sense of smell of animals is excellent, but the vision in mammals is weak.


Indian elephants can snort, scream, scream. With the help of sounds, they warn of the danger of relatives, show aggression in relation to them and talk about stress.

Social behavior and propagation

Females of the elephant create herds consisting of an experienced female animal, her cubs and small male and female elephants. In the past, such clans included 20-50 individuals, and now this amount has decreased to 5-10. Males prefer to live separately from the herd with the exception of the reproduction period.

At 15-18 years old, males become sexually mature. Then every year animals fall into a hut, that is, intoxication. The level of testosterone increases in their blood, they behave aggressively and pose a danger to humans. This condition lasts about 2 months. Females are ready to reproduce in 14.

Когда самцы уже готовы к случке, они раздувают уши, что помогает животным распространять феромоны. So they can attract more females. These substances are highlighted by the skin gland located in the area of ​​the ear. Old males are more active, who are about 50 years old.

In these mammals, pregnancy lasts the longest: 22 months. Females can give birth only 1 elephant in 4-5 years. Giving birth, the baby is already weighs near the centner. Growth of a newborn meter.

Almost immediately after the birth, the elephant can stand. All females in the herd show care of him. While the cub is not 5 years old, he lives with his mother. After the achievement of this age, males leave, and females no. Indian elephants live 50-70 years.


Elephants are large animals, because they have few enemies. Usually, poachers and tigers hunt for them, but the latter usually kill sick or cubs, since they are afraid of large individuals.

Animals create herds, because predators do not really want to deal with them with them. Males of the Indian elephant are almost never attacked, but tigers can hunt for an animal group. This happens with a lack of food.

However, due to the fact that animals love to spend time in water, crocodiles may attack them. But this rarely happens. When some kind of individual gets sick, hyenas often go around animals often.

But people are much more dangerous for animals. Elephants often die as a result of a collision with transport. In Asia, they are constantly looking for new lands, because the old ones are completely populated. Often they begin to master them at the habitat of elephants. Cases of invasion of protected areas are also frequent. People constantly build roads and implement other projects, because elephants lose their habitats.

Such situations lead to the hunger of these mammals, they have nowhere to hide from the heat, and they have no contact with other individuals and are not able to mix. Due to poachers hunting tusks, the ratio of males and females is distorted, and animals multiply much less.


The population of Indian elephants is reduced. According to some reports, about 5 percent of these mammals die every year. In 1986, they were listed in the Red Book of MSOP, because this species was almost on the verge of disappearance the population decreased half. To protect animals, they launched the Elephant project. This was done to assist in the distribution of the species. It is also needed to protect migration routes of elephants. The project improves veterinary care for wild animals.

In the northeast of India there is a special guarded harbor for Indian elephants. The largest population of animals in the country is concentrated there. Now the Wildlife Fund is trying to protect these individuals.

Meaning for humans

Indian elephant is easy to tame and look. For many centuries, in the southeast of Asia, Indian elephants used as horse and draft cattle. Usually they transferred goods and trees in logging. You could use young individuals only after reaching 7 years, for difficult work-from 12. Elephants, which for more than 30 years, were no longer suitable for work and training, therefore, when capturing, they were immediately released. Twisted wild animals were needed in the battles. But now it has gone the past. However, Indian elephants are used as riding where transport does not walk.

Interesting Facts

  1. Elephants know the approximate time of their death and strive to move to another world in a certain place. Such territories are elephant cemeteries.
  2. Indian elephants have a upper lip that has grown together with a nose a tusk. This organ has 40 thousand muscles. The trunk is used to drag objects, a set of water for drinking, like weapons. Having hit them, an elephant can kill a person.
  3. To date, elephant tusks are painted with pink paint so that the tusks obtained by poachers do not have the value.
  4. Albinos are very rare, they are the subject of a cult in Siam. There are an animal of pale red color with a yellowish iris. They have white hair on their backs.
  5. Animals have a tusk that they most often use. It can be determined by a round tip.
  6. Indian elephants have root teeth, 4 of them. They are replaced when they wear out hard. New ones grow right on the jaw, so that the old ones are replaced forward. Typically, new teeth replace 6 times per life. The extreme batch is cut at about 40 years old.
  7. Elephants in the summer often meet sunsets in the mountains, and are found next to the border of eternal snow. It is at an altitude of more than 3000 meters.
  8. Animals can spend about 20 hours a day on food search and feeding.
  9. Indian elephants actively use infrasound when they need to inform something, being far from each other.
  10. The newborn has tusks whose length is only 5 cm. They fall out after a few years during the period of replacement of the teeth.
  11. Almost immediately after the birth of the cub, the mother defecates. This is necessary in order for the elephant to remember the smell of discharge.
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