Elephants are good swimmers despite their size, and use their trunks as snorkels. They love water and bathe frequently.



Al Jazeera English © CC BY 2.0Order: Proboscidea

Family: Elephantidae

Species: Elephas maximus indicus

IUCN Red List Status: Endangered and decreasing population numbers.

Distribution: Mountainous parts of India, Indo-China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia & Southern China.

Population: The surviving population of Asian elephants is estimated between 30,000–50,000.

Habitat: Mainly jungle - near a good supply of water.

Size: height: 2.5 - 3m length: 5.5 - 6.4m weight: up to 5000kg

Life-span: Around 60 years.

Food: Vegetation, twigs and small branches, fruit, bark and roots.

Sexual maturity: 15 years.

Gestation: 22 months. This is the longest known gestational period of any animal.  The elephant foetus stays inside the womb for almost two years to allow its big brain to grow and mature, enabling it to use its dexterous trunk, recognise the complex social structure of the herd and stand up within half an hour of being born.

Number of young: Normally one

Read More: Daily Life

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