Category Archives: Majestic Elephants

Asian Elephant

Category : Majestic Elephants


Wildlife Collection – Baby Asian Elephant Beautifully Hand Painted Figure

Asian elephants are the continent’s largest terrestrial mammals. They can reach 6.4m in length and 3m at the shoulder, and weigh as much as 5 tonnes.

They are smaller than African elephants and have proportionally smaller ears, which they keep in constant motion in order to cool themselves. They also have a single ‘finger’ on the upper lip of their trunks as opposed to African elephants, which have a second one on the lower tip.

Their skin ranges from dark grey to brown, with patches of pink on the forehead, the ears, the base of the trunk and the chest.

A significant number of male Asian elephants are tuskless. The percentage of males with ivory varies from just 5% in Sri Lanka to aound 90% in southern India – possibly reflecting the intensity of past ivory hunting.

There are three subspecies of Asian elephant – the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan. The Indian has the widest range and accounts for the majority of the remaining elephants on the continent. The Sri Lankan is physically the largest of the subspecies, and also the darkest in colour. The Sumatran is the smallest.

Asian elephants are extremely sociable, forming groups of six to seven related females that are led by the oldest female, the matriarch. Like African elephants, these groups occasionally join others to form herds, although these associations are relatively transient.

Asian elephant skin is gray in color. Some parts of their skin sometimes lack color, especially on and around the ears, forehead and trunk. This de-pigmentation is believed to be controlled by genetics, nutrition and habitat, and generally develops as the elephant ages. Brownish to reddish hair covers the bodies of young elephants. The amount of hair reduces with age, and the color darkens.

Asian elephants have one small projection at the end of their trunk called a “finger,” which aids with precision. Elephants use their trunks to take up water and squirt it into their mouths. The trunk is capable of performing many other functions as well, including: feeding, snorkeling, dusting, smelling, sifting, sorting, touching, sound production/communication, lifting, pushing, defense and offense. It can hold about 2 gallons (7.57 liters) of water. With their trunks, elephants “know” their world: their senses of smell and touch being very important.

Asian elephants are found in isolated pockets of India and Southeast Asia, including Sumatra and Borneo. Asian elephants were formerly widely distributed south of the Himalayas, throughout Southeast Asia and in China as far north as the Yangtze River.

Asian elephants are considered forest animals; however, they have been observed to prefer zones that include intermittent open grassy glades. These zones contain transition areas with a great variety of species of plants between grass and forest, not available in dense woodlands. These zones also provide quick escape from the sun. Elephants are adaptable and can live in a variety of environments.

Asian elephants are herbivores. An elephant spends about three-quarters of each day eating or moving toward a food or water source. Feeding is not continuous, with three principal feeding bouts in the early morning, afternoon and night.

Elephants tend to rest and nap during the hottest hours of the day. They feed primarily on grasses, but also consume large amounts of browse: leaves, roots, vines, twigs, shoots and bark as well as fruit. Cultivated crops such as bananas and sugar cane are also a favored food. Foraging herds can be very destructive to cropland or forest because they are capable of pushing down large trees in order to gather their foliage and bark.

The longevity record for an Asian elephant in captivity is 86 years. There is not enough consistent data available on wild Asian elephants to accurately estimate their life span; however, it is thought that Asian elephants typically live into their mid- to late 50s.

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Category : Majestic Elephants


UNIQUEBELLA Ready to hang canvas pictures, African wildlife elephants painting printed on Canvas STRETCHED And mounted For Wall Art Home Decoration 30 x 20 inches

The African elephant is the largest of the two species left in the world. They have extremely large ears and both the males and the females grow tusks. They can be more than 12 feet tall and weight about 14,000 pounds. There are some sub species out there that are smaller with a height of about 9 feet and weighing approximately 7,500 pounds.

The African elephant is the king among the giants on land. No other land animal comes close to the size of these creatures. It would take 165 full-grown men to make up the same weight as the world’s record African elephant.

The noise of an elephant digesting its food (when its tummy’s growling) can be heard up to 600ft/183m away. Elephants actually have control over their digestive processes because they are able to stop the sounds of digestion when they sense danger.

The presence of African elephants helps to maintain suitable habitats for many other species. In central African forests, up to 30 percent of tree species may require elephants to help with dispersal and germination. They play a pivotal role in shaping their habitat because of the enormous impact they have on factors ranging from fresh water to forest cover.

Other animals, including humans,depend on the openings elephants create in the forest and brush and in the waterholes they dig.

Elephant dung(droppings) is important to the environment as well. Baboons and birds pick through dung for undigested seeds and nuts, and dung beetles reproduce in these deposits. The nutrient-rich manure replenishes depleted soils so

that humans can have a nutrient rich soil to plant crops in.

Elephant Droppings are also a vehicle for seed dispersal. Some seeds will not germinate unless they have passed through an elephant’s digestive system.

There once was a time that the African elephant roamed most all of the African Continent. It was estimated that around 7-10 million elephants existed in the 1930’s. Today that number is a shocking 300,000 individuals and still declining at a rapid pace. Demand for ivory, combined with habitat loss from human settlement, has led to a dramatic decline in elephant populations.

With statistics like this the African elephant is doomed for extinction in 15-20 years, unless we can put a stop to these illegal activities through education and alternative ways of providing  income in communities that assist in the ivory trade.  Ivory has become more valuable than gold. In fact, ivory has been called “white gold”.

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Elephant Body Signals

Category : Majestic Elephants


The Language of Elephants by Joshua Scott

Elephants use their heads, eyes, mouth, ears, tusks, trunk, tail, feet and even their whole body to signal messages to one another and to other species. For example, a threatening or dominant elephant signals her status by appearing larger, carrying her head high above her shoulders and spreading her ears, while a subordinate elephant carries his head low and his ears back. A frightened or excited elephant raises her tail and chin. A socially excited elephant lifts and rapidly flaps her ears and widens her eyes.

Tails: Just like a dog, when an elephant’s tail is swishing from side to side swatting away flies, it is happy. As soon as the tail goes stiff, normally held out to one side, it means that the elephant is anxious. At this point it may even start to run from you, normally swivelling over its shoulder to keep an eye on you as it tries to get away.

Eyes: An elephant’s eyes can tell you an incredible amount. Just think of humans, when we are stressed, excited or scared our eyes open wider. This is part of the reaction to the release of adrenaline in our bodies and better enables us to handle the perceived threat. This is exactly the same for elephants. If an elephant approaches you with lazy, almost half closed eyes and its tailing swishing slowly from side to side, it is a good sign this animal is very relaxed.

Ears:  The elephant is merely cooling itself down when its ears are flapping. It has huge, fat veins that run beneath the thin skin of the ear and as they flap their ears against the wind, they cool the blood and therefore their overall body temperature. The time to be weary is when an elephant turns and faces you head on, with its ears extended and held out at its sides (normally with its head held high and trunk and tusks raised). The elephant is trying to make itself look bigger and intimidate you.

Rumbling:  Most of the noises elephants emit are at frequencies we can’t even hear. However, this comforting, low rumbling sound we are lucky enough to hear is the elephants communicating with each other, so sit quietly and enjoy it.

Trumpet: This is generally not a good sign and usually signals distress. Even if it is just a youngster trumpeting, who doesn’t pose a threat to you, the trumpet will usually summon its mother in a matter of seconds who will more than likely blame you for its child’s temper tantrum.

Head shake: This is when an elephant picks its head up high and throws it back down in an arc, creating a big noise as its ears slap against its body and a billow of dust pours off its head. It is intimidating and that’s exactly why the elephant does it. If the elephants does this and moves off, then you are safe to continue watching the herd, however if it does this in conjunction with wide eyes, turns to approach you with ears extended, back arched and tusks held high then it is in your best interest to heed that elephant’s warning.

Verbal communication between elephants is surprisingly common, compared to many other mammals. They make a wide variety of gurgling noises in the backs of their throats, and of course can also produce a loud ‘trumpeting’ sound via their trunks. These are usually warnings, either that danger is approaching or that the trumpeting elephant is getting ready to charge its perceived assailant.

Softer noises are used soothingly or affectionately between elephants, most often from a mother to her calves when they are exhibiting signs of distress.

Like all mammals, elephants communicate a great deal through body language. Affection is often expressed by intertwining or ‘hugging’ trunks, usually between close relatives and friends who have travelled in the same herd for a long time.

A female elephant will signal her acceptance of a potential mate by rubbing her body full against his, and much tactile communication takes place with the prehensile ends of an elephant’s trunk – they use these to comfort and reassure each other, to greet friends, and to acknowledge the feat of a labouring mother or the presence of new calves.

When a member of the herd is close to death, the whole herd will stop moving and stay resting in one small area for a time. Once the elderly or sick elephant passes, they will stay on for a few more days – gathering semi-frequently around the corpse, and seeming to keen and grieve for their deceased companion.

If a travelling herd comes upon a dead elephant while making their journey, they will all gather around him or her – even if she was clearly a complete stranger to them – and take a few moments of silence before moving on, generally touching the body with their trunks as though they are making a show of reverence.

Elephants are highly social animals. Touching each other is an especially important form of social contact.In the wild, elephants live in complex multi-tiered societies. Each individual has some close companions and a wide network of other acquaintances.

As in all social species, growing up in a social group enables the young to learn how to use the proper social signals in each context. Even though the need for social contact is innate, many of the specific sounds, gestures and other social signals require learning.

In captivity, many calves are reared without full contact with a social group. In several countries, it is still common to wean calves from their mothers at an early age, already at one to three years.

In many cases, the weaned calf is therefter kept without opportunities to touch other elephants. In such an environment, the social skills of the calf remain to some extent impaired, as it has not had an opportunity to learn the wide repertoire of social signals used by elephants.The well-being of captive elephants would be remarkably improved if the calves are allowed to remain in social contacts with their mothers.


Tell Me Why: Elephants Have Trunks And Other Questions About Animals

The trunk has a central role in elephant-to-elephant interactions. They caress each other’s foreheads and temples with the trunk tip, wrap their trunks around each other’s heads, intertwine trunks and so on. Trunk interaction is therefore also an important part of human-elephant contact. Gently stroking the trunk is one of the best ways to help an elephant relax.

It is important to bear in mind that in the elephant world, caressing and touching each other is for familiar individuals only. Many elephants feel uncomfortable in close proximity with unfamiliar people, and even more uncomfortable if these try to touch – regardless of how much the person in question loves elephants. In most cases, the best way to show one’s love for an elephant is to allow the elephant keep a comfortable distance from the unfamiliar person who, from the elephant’s point of view, is a stranger.

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