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Famous India > Famous Animals of India > Indian Elephant
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Indian Elephant

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The elephant is the largest living land animal on earth. The Indian elephant ,Elephas maximus indicus, is smaller than its African counterpart. Elephants are recognized by their long nose, or trunk. They use this formidable appendage to smell, drink, eat, and manipulate objects. Only the male Indian elephant has tusks,teeth made of ivory that can measure up to 5 feet in length. The elephant uses these tusks to dig for food, clear debris, and carry logs up to 1 ton in weight. These tusks are very unique. The only other animal that has ivory tusks is the walrus.Elephants prefer thick forests with an abundant supply of food and a large amount of shade. They also like muddy areas, so they can cool off during the hot summer days.

Indian Elephant
Elephants in general are the largest existing land mammals and they have the biggest brains in the animal kingdom weighing 5 kg.In general, the Asian elephant weighs between 3-5 tons however the smaller Sumatran subspecies weight range begins at 2 tons. An Asian elephant's height at the shoulder is between 6.6-11.5ft. Their hearts beat 28 times a minute.

Indian Elephant
The Asian Elephant is a herbivore that favors bamboo, berries, mangoes, bananas, shrubs, tree foliage, wood, apples, wild rice, and coconuts. Since their bodies only make use of half of the food they consume, the elephant must eat between 330 and 350 pounds of food each day. In addition, they drink 22 to 30 gallons of water each day. To maintain this huge rate of consumption, the elephants must constantly travel to new areas in search of food and water.

Indian ElephantPopulation:
The latest estimate (June 2003) of the Asian elephant population is below 30,000. The African species is estimated at approximately 500,000. India's elephant population is estimated between 10,000 and 15,000, the largest in Asia. About half of these are found in the northeastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghaiaya located in far northeastern India.

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