WHAT IS THE SIZE OF AN ELEPHANT?


Elephants are well known for being the largest land animals alive today. There are two species in existence, the African elephant and the Indian elephant as well as a number of subspecies. However there is some evidence to suggest that two further species exist, namely the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant.

Male African elephants are the largest or all the surviving species and can reach a height of 3-4 m (10-13 ft) and a weight of 7,000 kg (15,000 lb). By comparison Asian elephants stand 2–3.5 m (7–11 ft) and weigh 3,000–5,000 kg (6,600–11,000 lb). In all instances, males are larger than the females.

In contrast, elephant calves are born approximately 85 cm (33 in) tall and weigh around 120 kg (260 lb).

Scientists have discovered that dwarf elephants of uncertain descent lived in Crete, Cyclades and Dodecanese during the Pleistocene period which lasted from about 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago. These are believed to have only grown to 1 m (3 ft) tall, and had probably evolved from the straight-tusked elephant - Palaeoloxodon antiquus, an extinct species of elephant closely related to the living Asian elephant.

Woolly mammoths are often depicted as being the largest of all elephant species to have ever walked the earth but were in fact smaller that today's African elephant. A fully grown male woolly mammoth reached shoulder heights between 2.7 and 3.4 m (9 and 11 ft) and weighed up to 6 tonnes (6,000 kg). Female woolly mammoths averaged 2.6–2.9 m (8.5–9.5 ft) in height and were built more lightly than males, weighing a relatively petite 4 tonnes (4,000 kg)!

For related articles click onto the following links:
BABY ELEPHANTS
ELEPHANT FACTS
HOW DO ELEPHANTS COMMUNICATE AND TALK TO EACH OTHER?
THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AFRICAN AND INDIAN ELEPHANTS?
What is the Size of an Elephant?
Where do Elephants Live?
WHERE DO ELEPHANTS LIVE?
WHY THE MAMMOTH BECAME EXTINCT?
WHY DO ELEPHANTS HAVE BIG EARS?

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