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Asian Elephants 101!
1 August 2008
Welcome to Asian Elephants 101! This week we have put together stacks of interesting facts about the gorgeous Asian Elephant. We hope you have fun learning about this amazing animal!
- Asian Elephants have a 22 months gestation (or pregnancy) period
- Calves are approximately 70-90kg at birth
- Their trunks have over 100 thousand individual muscles and can weigh up to140kg, carrying anything up to 600kg. The trunk can also capture interesting scents (smells), hold onto the scent and take it back to the herd to share with everyone.
- Asian Elephant females are born with tusks but they break off in the first year. They do not need them; they are grazers and eat a lot of grass or low lying vegetation.The African female keep their tusks so she can dig up water, tree roots and break down branches and tress.
- Asian Elephants have four large molars; two up the top, two down the bottom and at the back of their mouth. They get six sets of teeth in their lifetime, getting their last set in their late 40’s early 50’s. One tooth can weigh up to 4kg’s. They have about 10- 12 ridges on their molars where the African have approximately 20 ridges.
- Asian Elephants have smaller ears than the African Elephant. To properly identify wild elephants you need to take photos of the veins on the back of the ear; which is not and easy task! This is done because an elephant’s ear shape can change over time due to tearing when rubbing up against trees or walking through bushes. The ears are the thinnest skin part of the body.
- Their skin is very sensitive and is about an inch thick on most of the body
- Asian Elephant’s have five toe nails; one on the front and four on the back
- Their memories are great! For example, they may be shown as a calf where water is hidden under the ground, or where salt flats are located. These locations are remembered by the elephant when they pass through the area.
- Clay is eaten for minerals but also it stops toxins from entering the blood stream
- Our girls do not like small animals such as lizards, birds, cats and dogs. This would have something to do with not being able to look down. Their eye sight is not very good but is compensated with their great sense of smell.