Difference Between Asian and African Elephant - African Elephant vs Asian Elephant

By K Balaji|Updated : February 2nd, 2023

The most important difference between Asian and African elephant is that Asian elephants have smaller ears than African elephants. Although both these types of elephants belong to the general elephant species, numerous characteristics are associated with each type, making the African and Asian elephants distinctively different. African Elephants are heavier than Asian Elephants, as the average weight of African elephants varies between 4,000 and 8,000 kg.

Difference Between Asian and African Elephant PDF

Asian Elephants are smaller in size as compared to African elephants. Only male Asian Elephants have tusks, while both male and female African Elephants bear tusks. The difference between African Elephant vs Asian Elephant can be done by comparing their heads, teeth, tusk, skin, etc. In this article, a detailed overview of the Difference Between Asian and African Elephant will be provided.

Table of Content

Difference Between Asian and African Elephant

Numerous differences separate the Asian variant of elephants from their African brethren. Some of the major Difference Between Asian and African Elephant have been enumerated below.

African Elephant vs Asian Elephant

Sl. No.

Type

Asian Elephants

African Elephants

1

Head

They have an indented twin dome-shaped head.

The indentation runs through the centre of the head.

They have dome-shaped heads that are fuller and round without any indentation.

2

Ears

They have circular ears, which are comparatively smaller than African elephants.

The African elephants have fan-shaped large ears.

According to some, their ears symbolize the map of Africa.

3

Height

The height of an average Asian elephant is about 3.5 meters, which is centimetres shorter than its African counterparts.

The average height of African elephants is above 4 meters, which is notches above their Asian counterparts.

4

Weight

The average weight of Asian elephants varies between 3,000 and 6,000 kg.

The average weight of African elephants varies between 4,000 and 8,000 kg.

5

Tusks

Tusks are seen only on the male variant.

On the other hand, the females have tushes, a type of rudimentary tusks.

Both the male and well as female variants of African elephants have tusks.

6

Lips

The lower lips of Asian elephants are tapered and longer.

They have shorter and rounder lower lips.

7

Teeth

Asian elephants enjoy compressed diamond-shaped tooth profiles.

They have a "loxodont" (sloping) tooth profile.

This essentially provides their scientific name - Africana Loxodonta.

8

Areas

Asian elephants are found mainly across the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, including Laos and Myanmar.

They are present across the Central and West African rainforests though their presence has also been noted through the African savannas and deserts.

9

Skin

Their skin is usually pretty smooth.

They have rough and wrinkled skin.

10

Life Expectancy

Their average life expectancy is 48 years.

Their average life expectancy is 70 years.

Asian and African Elephants

Elephants are the largest mammals living on the earth's surface. Known for their huge bodies, ears, and trunks, elephants are also one of the most well-known living beings. However, when talking of elephants, there are two most distinctive types of elephants inhabiting the earth now - the Asian and the African elephants.

Asian Elephants

The Asian elephants are known for their one-of-a-kind head, which is “twin dome-shaped.” The texture of the skin of the Asian elephant is smoother as compared to other elephants.

  • Even their toots are diamond-shaped.
  • The scientific name is Elephas maximus indicus.
  • The Asian elephant is the land mammal, the largest on the Asian continent.
  • They are majorly found in South and Southeast Asia.
  • Asian elephants are endangered, and various measures are being taken to save them.

African Elephants

The African elephant is larger than the Asian elephant and is called the largest land mammal in the world. Their heads are fuller and dome-shaped. The African elephants live up to 70 years.

  • The height of the African elephant is higher than that of Asian elephants.
  • The scientific name of the African elephant is Loxodonta Africana.
  • Although the differences are stark between African and Asian elephants, their eating and movement habits (in the herd) are the same.

Conclusion:

Key Difference Between Asian and African Elephant

The key Difference Between Asian and African Elephant is that Asian Elephants have smaller circular ears, whereas African elephants have fan-shaped large ears. The average weight of Asian elephants (3,000 - 6,000 kg) is less than that of African elephants (4,000 - 8,000 kg).

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FAQs on Difference Between Asian and African Elephant

  • The Difference Between Asian and African Elephant concerning life expectancy is that Asian elephants can live an average of up to 48 years, whereas the average life expectancy of African elephants is 70 years.

  • The African elephant is bigger than the Asian elephant. The average height of the African elephant is more than that of the Asian elephant. Even the average weight of the African elephant is more than the Asian elephant.

  • The difference between Asian and African Elephants depending on average weight is that the average weight of the former is between 3,000 and 6,000 kg, whereas the average weight of the latter is between 4,000 and 8,000 kg.

  • African elephants are considered a keystone species, implying they play a crucial part in the ecosystem.

    • They are also referred to as “ecosystem engineers”.
    • These elephants use their tusks to dig up arid riverbeds during the dry season and make watering spots helpful for creatures to drink.
  • The Difference Between Asian and African Elephant concerning habitat is that Asian elephants can be widely found in India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, and Laos, among other southeast Asian countries.

    African elephants can be found across the Central and West African rainforests and the African savannas and deserts.

  • The Asian elephant is endangered due to habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation, illegal killing for ivory, and the loss of genetic applicability resulting from less population size and seclusion.

  • As far as eating habit is concerned, there is no difference between Asian and African Elephant. Some important differences are:

    • The height and weight of the African elephants are greater than the Asian elephants.
    • The ears of African elephants are fan-shaped, and that of Asian elephants are relatively circular.

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