Southeast Asia; parts of Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China (extinct in wild), Malaysia, Indonesia, and Borneo.
Usually scrub forests, they can be found in the jungle, but usually where there is open edge with available grasses. They prefer areas that combine grass, low woody plants, and forest.
Height 8-10 feet; Weight, 3-5 tons (6600-11, 000 lbs).
One calf: An adult female gives birth about every 4 years, starting at about age 13.
Browser (herbivore); grasses, bamboo, roots, tree bark, wood and some fruit.
120 lbs per day of bermuda hay, alfalfa hay, herbivore pellets, carrots, whole fruit, and various pieces of cut up fruit and vegetables.
Endangered; IUCN Red Listed and CITES Appendix I
Humans clearing forests for agricultural reasons.
They are gregarious and roam about in herds of 15 to 30, led by an old female, the matriarch. These herds are made of female family members. Males will come into the herds when the female is in estrus. The males travel alone or in temporary groups. Once the males hit a musth, a heightened sense of arousal, they begin to look for a mate. The herds are able to break up during the day, but contact is still in kept due to long range, low frequency communication.
Because of their size and daily food requirements of about 300-400 lbs of food and 40 gallons of water, they spend 18-20 hours per day foraging. They can only lie down for 4 hours at a time or the weight of their body will crush their internal organs.
The trunk plays an important role in communication between animals by touch, scent, and sound. They purr when they eat, but when danger arrives they will stop, which signals the danger to other elephants. They trumpet when agitated or excited, they can make a rumbling noise, but most of their communication is below a human's range of hearing.
When danger arrives the elephants will move quickly with their tails up, which signals the danger to the other members of the herd. An elephant in a full charge can reach up to 30 mph. When a predator, like a tiger, threatens a calf, the herd will form a defensive circle around the calf. For males, the tusks are a formidable weapon. The strong trunk is also used as a swinging weapon. Elephants also use their massive weight to crush opponents.
Humans (hunting the elephant, and taking over its habitat).
The sole of the foot is soft and wide to cushion the legs and help spread the animal's weight. Even though the elephant is so large, the combination of legs and feet allow it to move quietly and with great agility (especially when climbing in mountainous areas). They are not able to actually run or jump, but they can amble up to 25-30 mph.
Diurnal, but they spend the hottest parts of the day in the shade
Elephants are either right or left tusked. They use these tusks for various purposes. They can dig for water, remove bark from trees, maneuver fallen trees and branches, mark trees, rest their trunk on, fight with, and, in domestic animals, for various kinds of work.