Difference Between African and Asian Elephants

The elephant is the largest living animal on earth. They are members of the family called Probosciade.


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Probosciaden came into existence thirty-five million years ago. However, the evolution of modern elephants happened five million years ago. Elephants are of incredible fascination to people of all age groups.

There are ideally two species of elephants available on the planet. One is the African Elephant, and the other is the Asian Elephant.

While there is contemplation among ecologists about the number of elephant species on earth, these two prominent species adorn the forests of the respective places. But it is for sure that these two species have been on earth for a very long time.

African vs. Asian Elephants

African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are giant and have oversized ears than Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). African elephants also have a concave back, while Asian elephants have a convex or level back. African elephants are also generally more aggressive.

African vs Asian Elephants


Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonAfrican ElephantAsian Elephant
Life SpanAfrican Elephant is observed to live up to 70 years.Asian Elephant has a life span of 40 to 50 years
Size of the EarsThe ear size of an African Elephant is large enough to look like Africa.The ear size of an Asian Elephant is small when compared to the African Elephant.
TusksAll African Male and Female Elephants have tusks.Only Male Elephants have tusks, and that is small.
Food PatternAfrican Elephants are mostly leaf eaters.Asian Elephants are grass eaters.
WeightThe well-grown adult African Elephant weighs between 4000 kg to 7500 kgThe well-grown adult Asian Elephant weighs between 3000 kg to 6000 kg.


What is an African Elephant?

As the name suggests, the African Elephants is a species of elephant hailing from the continent called Africa. They are indeed the largest animal on the planet at the moment.

African Elephants are found in all thirty-seven countries of Africa. The large prominent ears of the elephants are a substantial recognizing factor. The reason the ears are more significant for these elephant species is also geologically ascertained. The ears of the elephants help dissipate heat from the body, and Africa is the hottest. They require a more prominent ear to dissipate more heat.

There are two subspecies of African elephants; the Savanna and the Forest Elephant. Savanna elephants are more significant than bush/forest elephants.

The Savanna elephant’s tusks curve outside. It is fascinating to know that African elephants, irrespective of gender, have tusks.

The Forest Elephants of the African species are not only smaller than the Savanna but also darker in the shade than the larger counterpart. The tusks of the forest elephant are straighter and also point downwards.

The forest elephants are widely found in Congo forests. They are uniquely adapted to the forest conditions and are considered distinct subspecies of African Elephants.

african elephant

What is an Asian Elephant?

The Asian Elephants are elephant species that live in the Asian Continent. Though it is widely said as Asian Elephant, most of the elephants belong to the Indian Subcontinent.

These elephants are the largest living animal in Asia. Asian Elephants are found in 13 countries in Asia.

Zoologists have closely observed the nature of Asian elephants to be sociable. They form groups of 5 to 6 female elephants, and the head of the group is predominantly an old female elephant.

The Asian elephants are smaller in size and weigh between 3000 kg and 4500 kg. The ears of the Asian elephant are round and small.

Asian elephants are observed to be eating most of the time. They spend two-thirds of the day eating. Only a few male Asian Elephants have tusks.

Asian elephants are mostly found in grasslands.

The International Union For Conservation of Nature has declared Asian elephants as endangered. The loss of habitat and poaching may be the reason for it. Asian Elephants have unique trunks. They have the tip of it like a single finger.

This helps them pick up small things.

It is sad to note that at least one-third of Asian elephants live in captivity. They are used for shows, entertainment arenas, and many commercial aspects.

asian elephant

Main Differences Between African and Asian Elephants

  1. The main difference between African and Asian Elephants is the ear structure. The Ear of the African Elephant is more significant than that of an Asian Elephant. They have small round ears.
  2. A well-grown adult African Elephant weighs between 4000 kg to 7500 kg, while its Asian counterpart weighs 3000 kg to 6000 kg.
  3. The African Elephants, irrespective of gender, have tusks, while only a few male Asian elephants have tusks.
  4. The shape of the head also varies between the two. The African Elephant has a round dome-like head structure, while the Asian elephants have two domed heads with an indent running in the middle.
  5. The elephants have the trunk tip as a finger-like structure that they can use to pick small things. The African elephant has twin finger-like structures, while the Asian Elephant has one.
Difference Between African and Asian Elephants


  1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/a/african-elephant/
  2. https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/african-elephant
  3. https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/asian-elephant
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