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Asian Elephant

Scientific name:  Elephas maximus
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  Asia
Habitat:  Bosque templado y taiga
Diet:  Herbívoro
Weight:  100 - 6000 kg
Size:  2 - 3,5 m
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Meet the Asian Elephant!

The Asian Elephant is slightly different from its African relative; it is somewhat larger: its forehead is more domed, its ears are rounder and smaller, its back is more arched and its trunk, which ends in a single lip and not in two, is smoother. At birth, this giant mammal is striking because of the large layer of black fur that covers it, which it gradually loses until its thick, gray skin is revealed. The elephant’s skin protects it from insect bites and the rains of the temperate forest or taiga. The elephant usually makes up a mass of earth and water that it spreads all over its back with its trunk in order to cool itself. Its current distribution includes Sri Lanka, southern and northeastern India, Bangladesh, Indochina, Malacca, Sumatra and part of Borneo.

What are its habits?

They feed on leaves and fruits, and live in herds led by a matriarch, her young and often a pair of males (one old and sometimes one young). In addition, most males leave the group during adolescence: they only return to the females when they perceive, via infrasound, that one of them wants to reproduce. Then there is a competition between them, from which a winner will emerge who will mate with the female (if she accepts it, of course). Gestation lasts 22 months, after which a single calf is born and the lactation period can last for five years. The Asian Elephant calf weighs around 100 kilos and stands around one meter tall. During its first six months of life, it feeds exclusively on it’s mother's milk, which is later supplemented with other food including vegetables. It is estimated that in its first month it can reach 200 kilograms; and in adulthood, about five tons.

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


One of the biggest intrigues surrounding the Asian elephant is the 'must'. It is a physiological state, more or less periodic, that affects males. Their aggressiveness increases, testosterone levels skyrocket, and they secrete a thick, ocher substance from their temporal glands near their eyes.

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Charlas en Zoo
Discover more about some of the Zoo animals in our talks

Discover more about some of the Zoo animals in our talks