Elephants are the largest living land mammals on planet earth.  There are two major elephant species: the African and the Asian elephants.  They originate and live on the continents for which they are named, and in general, the African elephants are larger standing as tall as 13 feet and weighing as much as 11 tons!  A table that compares the species and subspecies of elephants can be found below. 

EPMP to date has focused all efforts on African Bush Elephants in southern Africa.  In the future, and based on need, the group may lend a hand to other elephant species. In southern Africa, where there is an overpopulation of elephants, the results of habitat destruction are dramatic and effect not only the food available for elephants but for other species of animals as well.  Wildlife managers are seeking methods of population control that help to decrease this habitat destruction.


African Elephant

Elephant Quick Facts

 

African Elephant
(Loxodonta sp)

Asian Elephant
(Elephasmaximus sp)

Species Bush elephant
(L.africana)
Forest elephant
(L. cyclotis)
Sri Lankan subspecies
(E. m. maximus)
Mainland subspecies
(E. m. indicus) 
Sumatran subspecies
(E. m. sumatranus)
Height at Shoulder 3-4 m
10-13 ft
2-3 m
6-10 ft
2-3.5 m
6-11 ft
2-3.5 m
6-11 ft
2-3.2 m
6-10 ft
Weight 4,000-7,000 kg
8,820-15,430 lbs
2,000- 4,500 kg
4,410- 10,000 lbs
2,000- 5,500 kg
4,410- 12,125 lbs
2,000-5,000 kg
4,410-11,020 lbs
2,000-4,000 kg
4,410- 8,820 lbs
Habitat Forest Savannah Forest Savannah Forest and grassland Forest and grassland Forest primarily, some grassland
Social Structure 8-12 related females, headed by matriarch

Bachelor groups of males
Small family units: female and current offspring

Bachelor males
8-12 related females headed by matriarch

Bachelor males
8-12 related females headed by matriarch

Bachelor males
8-12 related females headed by matriarch

Bachelor males
Physical Differences
  • Up to 21 pairs of ribs
  • Large ears
  • Concave shaped back
  • Forehead smooth and rounded
  • Diamond-shaped ridges on occlusive surfaces of teeth
  • Tusks present in both sexes, larger in males
  • Two fingers on end of trunk
  • 4 to 5 nails on forefoot
  • 3 to 5 nails on hindfoot
  • More wrinkled skin
  • Up to 20 pairs of ribs
  • Smaller ears
  • Convex shaped back
  • Forehead dished, with two bulges
  • Elongated oval shaped ridges on occlusive surfaces of teeth
  • Tusks present in males, vestigial or absent in females
  • One finger on end of trunk
  • 5 nails on forefoot
  • 4 to 5 nails on hindfoot
  • Smoother skin

Asian Elephant