Elephants are the largest mammals found on earth, living in Asia as well as Africa. However, the elephants found in both these regions belong to different genera scientifically. Therefore, both types of elephants possess certain physical traits which differ from one another. There distinguishing characteristics include the size, weight, the shape of their ears, their skin, tusks, trunks as well as their diet preferences. Each one of these features is explained below in detail.
The first and most prominent difference between Asian and African elephants is with respect to their size. The African elephants are larger than their Asian counterparts. They can reach a maximum height of 4 meters. On the other hand, the maximum height that can be attained by Asian elephants is only 3.5 meters.
Due to the difference in their size, the African elephants beat Asian elephants in terms of their weight also. Fully mature African elephants can weigh from 4,000 kg to 7,500 Kg. On the contrary, the weight of Asian elephants lies in the range between 3000 Kg and 6000 Kg.
The next most commonly observed difference between Asian and African elephants is the size of their ears. Once again, like the overall size of these two types of elephants, the size of the ears of the African elephants is greater than that of the Asian elephants which possess smaller ears.
The other prominent difference between the elephants of Africa and Asia lies in their skin. African elephants have a rather wrinkled skin, whereas the skin of Asian elephants appears to be quite smooth.
Only the male Asian elephants possess tusks. However, both female and male African elephants have tusks. Moreover, the tusks possessed by the Asian elephants are comparatively smaller in size than the tusks of African elephants.
African elephants have trunks that appear more wrinkled with more “rings”. However, the trunks of Asian elephants appear to be harder with less “rings”. Secondly, African elephants use their trunks to pick up things as the tips of their trunks are shaped like two “fingers”. The tips of the trunks of Asian elephants differ and they pick up objects quite conveniently with the help of the underside of their long trunks.
The Asian and African elephants feed on different types of plants. The Asian elephants feed mainly on grass, while the African elephants have plants and green leaves as the major components of their diet.