If the ocean is the largest animal – a whale, on the ground that there is no one more elephant. On our planet, two species of elephants: Indian and African. Indian elephants are also called Asian. They come from different ancestors and therefore very different from each other.
Indian elephant African easier. It weighs an average of 5-6 tons, and its African counterpart 7-8 tons. In African elephants back slightly caved in, and in the Indian, on the contrary, humpback. His forehead is high and convex, whereas the African elephant forehead flat and cut back. The ears are triangular and three times less than that of the African. The trunk is smoother and has only one at the end of a flexible process, rather than two, as in Africa.
In Asia, elephants are always treated with great respect. Ganesha – Hindu god of wisdom – depicted as a man with the head of an elephant. All over India for the holidays drove elephants magnificently embroidered with jewels caparisons. Head of an elephant painted with colorful designs. One Thai monarch as a symbol of power was presented with a very rare white elephant.
Elephants have long been involved in military campaigns. However, mainly for intimidation. And in the fourth century BC, Alexander the Great routed the forces of the Indian king, despite his war elephants. More recently, in 1862, the King of Siam (now Thailand) proposed by President Abraham Lincoln elephants their best to help the Union army. Lincoln politely declined, because even before the advent of firearms elephants in battle were very unreliable. They were nervous, easily frightened by unfamiliar sounds and violated the order.
In Asia, still are trained elephants. They are indispensable in the lumber camps in the dense jungle. Elephants are where the horses get stuck. They are able to pass on a narrow mountain path, where a person runs the risk of falling into the abyss. Working elephants do not grow. This is too long. After pregnancy in elephant lasts 21-22 months. It’s almost two years. Newborn baby elephant mother feeds for another three years. A train it will only be possible to ten years. Therefore, people catch elephants. They organize raids and driven into wooden pens of logs. Caught elephant for a long time does not admit to yourself people. So to start his starved, and when it weakens, begin to feed and train teams. Elephants remember about thirty teams and diligently perform them, trying to win the approval of the pursuer.
Indian elephants used to inhabit a vast area in India and Southeast Asia. Very actively helped to destroy them in the XIX century. People cut down the jungle and shoot the elephants to grow the famous Ceylon tea. Once only one island of Sri Lanka lived 40 thousand elephants. Today their number is only three thousand.
Elephants live 60-70 years. Elephants both Indian and African very strong animals. They do not slow, as they read. Elephant, if necessary, can run at a speed of 30-40 km per hour. In addition to the large elephant hits its trunk. Do elephants very short neck, and he can not reach the ground. Here and rescues the trunk. The elephant is very deftly plucks them from the young shoots of tall trees and nibbling grass. Trunk, he collects the water for drinking and pouring himself a hot day. But he needs a trunk not only for food. With the help of an elephant’s trunk smell for as much as 3 kilometers. Them he explores the way in unfamiliar places. The trunk is also a very dangerous weapon. But elephants rarely use it in combat. In case of danger, they turn the trunk. After the loss of his face animal starvation.
If Asian elephants killed because of tea plantations, the African because of the tusks. Big demand for ivory has coincided with the advent of powerful guns. And there was a massacre. It was destroyed several hundred thousand elephants. Now the hunt for them is limited, and in some countries is prohibited. But poachers continue to shoot elephants 10-20 thousand a year.
African elephants are not yet included in the list of endangered animals. But, it seems, will soon have to prepare for them in the Red Data Book of the page, next to the Indian counterparts.
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