Asian Elephant vs African Elephant (Difference Between Asian and African Elephants)

asian elephant vs african elephant

African and Asian elephant can be alike, but there are fundamental physical features that make these two species are relatively easy to tell. The most notable tangible difference can be observed in the ears, tusks, and shape of the heads as their name suggests these two habitats in two different continents- Asia and Africa. Let us compare these two elephants and know the difference between them.

What does the Asian elephant look like?

Asian elephants are the largest terrestrial mammals of the continent; these elephants have one finger on their upper lip. The skin color of Asian elephants varies from brown to gray. The elephants also have pink colored spots on their ears, forehead, trunk, and chest. Only male Asian elephants grow tusks, and not all males will have them.

Where does the African elephant live?

Asian elephants live all over the vast territory that covers the Hindustan and Indochina peninsula, Borneo Island, and most of South-Eastern Asia. Their habitat includes plains, tropical forests, evergreen, semi-evergreen forests, dry and wet deciduous forests, and cultivated lands. 

What is the size of the Asian elephant?

The length of Asian elephant measures from 5.5 to 6.5 meters, and stands from 2.4 to 2.8 meters tall. These mammals are bulky and can weigh 2.7 to 4 tons. 

What do Asian elephants eat?

Asian elephants are herbivorous, and their diet mainly consists of plants. The usual diet’s significant components are grasses, leaves, roots, the bark of trees, and bushes. 

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How fast can an Asian elephant run?

The top speed of an Asian elephant is 27 miles per hour.

Asian elephant reproduction:

The mating behavior between Asian elephants is polygynous, which means a male can mate with several females. Before mating, the males fight with each other to gain the right to coupling. There is no specific breeding season of elephants; they can breed all around the year. After the gestation period of 18 to 22 months, the female delivers a single baby. Under favorable circumstances, a female can give birth once every 3 to 4 years. 

Facts About Asian Elephants:

  • The offspring of the Asian elephant is cared for and protected by the mother and by other females of the herd.
  • Elephants can sing. However, they use a low frequency that is not audible for human ears. Generally, they sing when they want to keep the pack together and looking for a mate.
  • These mammals spend most of their day around 16 hours in eating. 
  • Average elephants can drink up to 40 to 50 gallons of water per day.
  • These animals sleep for only 2 hours a day.
  • Elephants are fond of bananas, before eating, they crust bananas, corn, and other food. 
  • Water plays an integral part in the elephant’s lives. They not only drink more water but also play, swim and pour it on each other.
  • Elephant uses its trunk to drink water, suck it up into its, nose and splash it into its mouth.

Asian elephant behavior:  

Female elephants are social animals and live in herds that consist of more than 20 females. The oldest female leads the group and search for food and water sources. However, the crowd can be divided into smaller sub-groups. On the other hand, males live a solitary life and communicate through sending and receiving messages from packs over great distances using high frequency sounds.

How long do Asian elephants live?

The average lifespan of these elephants is 70 years. 

Are Asian elephants endangered?

Under the IUCN, the Asian elephants are classified as endangered with a decreasing population trend. The population is decreasing mainly because of human activity. These mammals have been hunted and killed as a source of food and their ivory. Along with their poaching, deforestation and agricultural activities are some of the threats that destroy their natural habitat.

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What does an African elephant look like? 

Savannah elephant or African bush elephant is the giant elephant in Africa. Those who do not know which animal has bigger ears? The answer is the African elephant. These elephants have large ears, much shaped like the continent of Africa. The larger surface area of their ears helps keep African elephants cool in the hot African sun. The hind limbs are shorter than their forelimbs; they possess a tusk to mark, feed, dig, and fight. 

Where do African elephants live?

The elephant majorly habitat in grassy plains and bush lands. Their population can be found in many countries in eastern and southern Africa. 

What is the size of the African elephant?

The height of African elephants compared to Asian elephants ranges from 3 to 3.5 meters, and these mammals weigh from 3600 to 5400 kg. 

What do African bush elephants eat?

Like Asian elephants, African elephants are also herbivorous and only feed on vegetation. Their diet primarily consists of leaves, roots, barks, fruits, and grasses. 

How fast can an African elephant run?

The top speed of the African elephant is 25 miles per hour.

African elephant reproduction:

African bush elephants always search for females for mating. They can breed throughout the year, but the peak period is during the rainy season. The gestation period in female bush elephants lasts for two years. The newborn calf is cared for and protected by all the herd females until six years old. 

Fun Facts About African Elephants:

  • These mammals can eat 220 to 660 pounds of food and around 50 gallons of water every day. 
  • On the bottom of their feet, these elephants possess spongy pads that allow them to walk with minimum noise.
  • African bush elephants have a flexible trunk that has 100,000 various muscles. 
  • These mammals have sensory cells in their feet. During vibration on the ground, they feel deep pitched sound, which passes from their front feet and shoulder bones and then reaches their middle ear.
  • The skin of the African elephant is highly sensitive to UV rays. So they take mud baths to protect their skin from burning and insects.
  • Elephants are the animals who have passed the mirror test-they can recognize themselves in a mirror after great apes and dolphins. 

African bush elephant behavior:

These elephants have a complex social structure they gather in a group that consists of 10 females and their offspring. The males, after maturity, leave the herd and live a solitary life. However, several packs can combine, making up a clan. Each clan is dominated by a female and can consist of several hundred elephants. African bush elephants are very protective animals. They care and nurse the calves. These elephants can communicate both verbally and non-verbally. 

How long do African elephants live?

The average lifespan of the African bush elephant is between 60 to 70 years.

Are African elephants endangered?

Currently, according to the IUCN, these species had defined as vulnerable, and their population is increasing. However, these elephants had poached for their ivory tusk, which gains a high value in Asia and the United States. Another threat to these elephants are humans who are destroying their natural habitat. 

Asian elephant vs. African elephant: fight comparison

Now that we have discussed the features of both Asian and African elephants, we have known significant differences between them. Although these two elephants live in two different continents, Asia and Africa, there is a low possibility that they will come face to face for a fight. However, if a battle happens between them, there are chances for an African elephant to win over an Asian elephant.

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