The Asian elephant Elephas maximus is slightly smaller than its African counterpart, Loxodonta africana — the largest animal on land. The Asian elephant has smaller ears and has only one finger on the lower lip of the trunk while an African elephant has two.
It is commonly found in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and other Asian countries.
An elephant grows to a height of 2 m to 4 m and weighs between 3,000 – 5,000 kg. It uses its ears to cool itself as they serve the function of fans. Its trunk, which alone contains 100,000 different muscles, is a long nose and helps it to smell, breathe, trumpet, drink and eat.
A female elephant, also called ‘cow’, lives in a small matriarchal group and has the oldest member as its leader. Elephants have the longest gestation period among mammals — 18 to 22 months.