Today at Light Future Art, we’re shining a spotlight on Indian elephants! Read about how you can tell the difference between African and Indian elephants here!
1. Indian elephants live in a herd of anywhere from 10 to 100 individuals. The herd is led by a matriarch and most of the elephants in the herd are related. Males may join a group for short periods of time but usually, they are solitary or form small bands.
2. The tusks of Indian elephants grow about six inches every year. They use their tusks to dig up shoots and roots. While it is rare for female Indian elephants to have tusks, some do grow small tusks that rarely can be seen extending much below their mouth.
3. During the summer, Indian elephants can drink up to 53 gallons of water in one day! They also need to consume over 300 pounds of food — leaves, grasses, shoots, and fruit — every day.
4. The Indian elephant’s sense of smell is so finely tuned that they can smell a source of water from over three miles away.
5. After a gestation period of 22 months, the baby elephant is able to walk within a few hours of birth. However, it takes anywhere from two to four years for the baby to be weaned off of their mother’s milk, and 10 years to be fully grown up.
6. Male Indian elephants weigh nearly twice what females weigh. The average weight for female Indian elephants is 6,000 pounds, while the average weight for males is 11,900 pounds.
7. Although they are called “Indian” elephants, these elephants are also found throughout many countries in Southern Asia, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Thailand.
8. Indian elephants naturally migrate with the seasons, to stay in locations with abundant food supply. However, due to agricultural and urban development, this is now difficult or impossible.
9. Agriculture does provide additional food for the elephants, however. They commonly will eat crops such as sugarcane, apples, and mangos.
10. The trunk of an Indian elephant has about 100,000 individual muscles! They can hold up to two gallons of water in their trunks at once. Sometimes, their trunks become too heavy to carry comfortably and so they drape them over their tusks to take a rest.
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