Indian Elephant Fact Sheet

Common Name:

Indian Elephant

Scientific Name:

Elephas maximus indicus

Wild Status:

Endangered

Habitat:

Grasslands and forests

Country:

India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, China

Shelter:

Forests

Life Span:

48-50 years

Size:

11,000 lbs

Cool Facts:

  • Indian Elephants are endangered!
  • Indian Elephants can eat up to 330 lbs of vegetation per day.
  • They do not have bones in their trunks, but they have over 150,000 individual muscles.
  • Indian Elephants are a sub-species of the Asian Elephant.
  • Indian Elephants are known to feed on over 100 species of plants.
  • Males are know to reach up to 11,000 lbs when adults.
  • The tallest Indian Elephant was 11.3 ft in the shoulders.
  • Elephants are megaherbivores and consume massive amounts of vegetation.
  • Indian Elephants have smaller ears the African Elephants.

Details:

Indian Elephants are massive animals that know for their large bodies, big ears, long trunk and stumpy legs.  Elephants are the largest living land animals and there is currently two defined species and around 15-18 sub-species, depending on who you talk to.  Indian elephants are not the biggest of the sub-species, but they are truly magnificent animals that have the majority of people enthralled.  Indian Elephants form strong family bonds, live in herds of 8-100 individuals and are known to look after their babies. As you'd imagine, Indian Elephants travel incredibly far distances and need lots of land to maintain higher population sizes. Humans are putting incredible strain on Indian Elephant populations and the forces to help protect elephants and spread awareness have risen sharply.  In many areas humans and elephants have strong relationships as well and elephants are used to help raise awareness for ecotourism. The Indian Elephants are known to inhabit grasslands and deciduous forests which help to supply the massive amounts of plant material needed for their daily survival.  We have a lot more you can learn about enormous mammals, so don't forget to check out the Indian Elephant blog and then you can test your knowledge by doing the Indian Elephant quiz.

Taxonomic Breakdown:

  • Kingdom: Anamalia
  • Pyhllum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Proboscidae
  • Family: Elephantidae
  • Genus: Elephas
  • Species: Elephas Maximus
  • Sub Species: Elephas maximus indicus

Conservation & Helping:

Indian Elephants are considered critically endangered by the IUCN and have been facing enormous struggles in their native habitats.  Elephants in general have been in the forefront of conservation battles going on around the world.  Indian Elephants are facing struggles from issues related to habitat destruction, habitat degradation and the breaking up of habitats, which is referred to as habitat fragmentation.  Indian Elephants require large amounts of space and this requires lots of land to be preserved and maintained for the health of the populations. This also requires us to preserve migratory paths of the Indian Elephants to make sure they safe passage from habitat to habitat. Indian Elephants are also heavily hunted for their ivory and poaching is an issue increasing around the world for not only elephants, but many of the world's rarest species.  Poaching not only kills off individual species, but this will often causing changes to the populations sex ratios and densities, which also can cause Indian Elephant populations to decrease over time. 

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