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africanelephantElephant It is the largest living mammal, member of the Proboscridea and related to the extinct Mammoth and Mastodon . Their numbers greatly reduced by hunters seeking their ivory, and also by encroaching civilization.

It is thought that Egypt was the elephants ancestral home, from which it migrated to Asia, Europe, and North and South America. There are two living genera, the asiatic or Indian elephant of India and a South East Asia and African elephant now found only south of the Sahara.

African bull elephants reach a height at a the shoulder of the 11 ft., where there asiatic cousin bull elephant reaches a height to of about 9 ft. the African elephant also has larger ears and tusks; tusks of the bull are sometimes more than 10 ft. long and may weigh 150 lbs are more. The female Indian elephant the tusks are small or absent. Tusks are enlarged incisor teeth; they're used to dig up plants and to pin enemies as to the ground.

The long wrinkled trunks of the African elephant terminates in two fleshy finger like protuberances, and the shorter of the asiatic form has a single protuberance. The elephants diet mainly consist of fruits , leaves , and other vegetation from which the food is conveyed to the mouth by the trunk. Water is sucked into and the trunk and sprayed into the mouth. Adults are mature at 25 years and old at about 50. Normally one calf is produced after a gestation period Of 18 to 22 months.

The asiatic species and has been domesticated and trained to labor in the teak forests and to perform other heavy tasks. The pygmy elephant about five to 7 ft. high at the shoulder is found in the West Africa. In Thailand and Burma albino elephants have long been held sacred.

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