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Elephant- one of the largest living mammals

Elephant- one of the largest living mammals

The elephant, one of the biggest living mammals on the Earth is really not difficult to recognize with its giant body, large ears. The two main types of elephants are Asian elephant and the African elephant. The world elephant population can be found in the parts of South Asia, South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. On the path of evolution, Elephantidae is the only surviving group of the order Proboscidea.  Mammoths and Mastodons went extinct due to various reasons like the ice age and the destruction of the habitat.

In terms of weight, the African elephant weights around 7,000 kilograms and can grow up to the height of four meters. The proboscis or elephant’s trunk is used for breathing, lifting objects and water by the creature. The huge ears acts as body heat control mechanism and pillar legs are there to support large weight.  African counterpart is larger in size as compared to Asian one.

The elephants became targets of poachers due to the value of their ivory, which is useful in creating weapons and tools.

The giant animal enjoys spending time in water, which also helps him to keep his body cool during hot days. Therefore elephants can be found near major water bodies in forests, desserts and grasslands. The other predators like lions, tigers do not target this herbivorous animal due to its sheer size. 

Despite its significant ecological significance, elephants are endangered species. The main cause behind this is excessive poaching and use as working animal.  In Asia, historically elephants were important part of the warfare.

 

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