Asian Elephant

Elephas maximus hirsutus
Индийские слоны

The Asian elephant, a mammal of the proboscis order, is the second largest land animal after the savanna elephant. However, their size is also impressive — old individuals (males) reach a mass of 5.4 tons with a height of 2.5—2.5 meters. Females are smaller than males, weighing an average of 2.7 tons. In ancient times, Asian elephants were found in Southeast Asia from the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia to the Malay Peninsula, in the north reaching the foothills of the Himalayas and the Yangtze River in China. They were also found on the islands of Sri Lanka, Sumatra and possibly Java. In the XVI—XIX centuries, the Indian elephant was still common in most of the Indian subcontinent, in Sri Lanka and in the eastern parts of its former range. Currently, the range of Asian elephants is highly fragmented; they are found in the wild in the countries of the Indo-Malay biogeographic region: Southern and Northeastern India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Southwestern China, Malaysia, Indonesia and in Brunei. The Asian elephant is mainly a forest dweller. It prefers light tropical and subtropical deciduous forests with dense undergrowth of shrubs and especially bamboo. Elephants move quite easily through swampy terrain and climb mountains. Elephants are herbivores and spend up to 20 hours a day searching for food and feeding. Only during the hottest hours of the day do elephants take shelter in the shade to avoid overheating. The amount of food they eat daily is from 150 to 300 kg of various vegetation or 6-8% of the elephant's body weight. Elephants mainly eat grass; they also eat bark, roots and leaves of various plants, as well as flowers and fruits in some quantities. Elephants are social animals. Females always form family groups consisting of the matriarch (the most experienced female), her daughters, sisters and cubs, including immature males. Sometimes there is one old male next to the herd. Males usually lead a solitary lifestyle; only young males who have not reached puberty form temporary groups that are not associated with female groups. Adult males approach the herd only when one of the females is in estrus. At the same time, they arrange mating duels; most of the time, however, males are quite tolerant of each other, their feeding territories often overlap. By the age of 15-20, males usually reach sexual maturity, after which they annually enter a state known as must (in Urdu, "intoxication"). This period is characterized by a very high level of testosterone and, as a result, aggressive behavior. With musta, an odorous black secret containing pheromones is released from a special skin gland located between the ear and the eye. Pregnancy in elephants is the longest among mammals; it lasts from 18 to 21.5 months. The female brings 1 (less often 2) cubs weighing about 90-100 kg and about 1 m high (in the shoulders). He has tusks about 5 cm long, which fall out by the age of 2, when the baby teeth change to adults. During calving, the remaining females surround the woman in labor, forming a protective circle. Female Indian elephants reach sexual maturity at the age of 10-12 years, although they become capable of bearing offspring by the age of 16, and reach adult size only by the age of 20. In nature, elephants live up to 60-70 years, in captivity — up to 80 years.


Азиатский слон
Elephas maximus hirsutus
Osiyo fili
Elephas maximus hirsutus
The White - armed Gibbon
Hylobates lar
Золотистый мангобей
Cercocebus chrysogaster