The Asian elephant belongs to the genus Elephas and the family Elephantidae. It is also the only extant species in the genus Elephas. As of 2019, four subspecies of the Asian elephant have been officially identified:
- Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis)
- Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus)
- Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus)
- Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus)
The Asian elephant is slightly smaller than the African elephant, with the average specimen measuring around 9 feet tall at the shoulder (males) and weighing over 2.7 tons. Interestingly, new fossil evidence shows that the now-extinct woolly mammoths are speculated to be more closely related to Asian elephants than their African counterparts.
An interesting fact about elephants is that they are Crepuscular animals. This means that they are most active during the dawn and dusk (twilight). Moreover, elephants can sleep lying down or standing up; but in captivity, these animals prefer to sleep lying down. In the wild, elephants sleep standing up because it is easier for them to move quickly if the need arises.
The IUCN has classified Asian elephants as “Endangered” due to excessive poaching and loss of habitat. It has been estimated that between 30,000 to 50,000 individuals remain in the wild, and if the present conditions remain unchecked, they may well be on their way to extinction.
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Frequently Asked Questions on Scientific Name of Asian Elephant
What is the scientific name of Asian elephant?
The scientific name of the Asian Elephant is Elephas maximus
What are the subspecies of Asian elephants?
4 subspecies of Asian elephants have been identified to date. They are: Borneo Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis), Indian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus), Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) and the Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus).
Where are the Asian Elephants found?
Asian elephants are found in Sri Lanka, India, Malay, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand and Sumatra.