Elephants are the largest land animal. There are majorly two species of elephants that are African and Asian elephants. They are found in totally different parts of the world, and there are many different features.
They are not only different in their geographical location but also have different physical features. However, they can still be easily mistakenly identified. This is why in this article, we will discuss the major differences between the African elephant and the Asian elephant.
1. Ear size and Shape
One of the key differences between an African elephants and Asian elephant is their ear shape and size. You can easily identify the species of an elephant just by looking at its ear. As African elephant has much larger ears than the Asian elephant. Moreover, their ear shape looks like the African continent.
Whereas the Asian elephant has a smaller and circular ear shape, which is easily recognizable. However, both elephants use their ears to cope with the heat as Africa is a hotter and more humid continent which is why African elephants have larger ears.
2. Head and Tusk
If you look at both species side by side, you can clearly see the difference between heads and trunks. It is very evident that the African elephant has much larger tusks as compared to the Asian elephant. Both males and females African elephants have bigger head than Asian elephants.
Moreover, the skull of both elephants is very different as its clearly visible. The African elephant has a circular head shape. Whereas an Asian elephant has a longer head and hump on the top of its skull. This is another major factor that differentiates African elephants and Asian elephants.
Another identifying factor can be their trunk, as African elephants have visible ring patterns on its trunk. Whereas Asian elephants have hard and very few rings on their trunk. While they use the tip of their trunk to hold and manipulate things.
In African elephant trunks, they have two differentiated finger-like structures which they use to hold objects. Where in Asian elephants, the tip of their trunk has only a single finger-like object, and they hold objects by using this structure against the outer side of their trunk.
4. Skin and body
You can also differentiate between both species by observing the patterns on their skin. African elephants have much more prominent wrinkles on their skin as compared to the Asian elephants. Whereas Asian elephants have smooth skin in comparison to African elephants.
The wrinkles on African elephants help them to stay hydrated for a longer period of time, and they help them retain water. Whereas Asian elephants do not require such functions as they live in tropical climates.
5. Size and Weight
Another major difference between African elephants and Asian elephants is their size and weight. Although both species are humungous in size and weight, still African elephants are much bigger and heavier than Asian elephants.
An average African elephant is about 10-12 feet in height and weighs around 10,000 to 12000 pounds. Whereas Asian elephants are 6-8 feet in height and weigh around 6,000 to 10,000 pounds.