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Sri Lankan Elephant

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Sri Lankan Elephant Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Proboscidea
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Elephantidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family
Elephas
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Elephas Maximus Maximus
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Herbivore
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
2m - 3m (7ft - 10ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
3,000kg - 5,000kg (6,500lbs - 11,000lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
43km/h (27mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
55 - 70 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Herd
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Endangered
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Grey, Brown, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Leather
Favourite Food:Grass
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Rainforest and tropical woodland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
1
Main Prey:Grass, Fruit, Roots
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Tiger
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Long trunk and large feet

Sri Lankan Elephant Location

Map of Sri Lankan Elephant Locations
Map of Asia

Sri Lankan Elephant

The Sri Lankan elephant is a sub-species of Asian elephant which includes the Indian elephant, the Sumatran elephant, the Sri-Lanka elephant and the Borneo elephant. The Sri Lankan elephant is the largest of all the Asian elephant sub-species and is thought to be most closely related to the Indian elephant.

As its name suggests, the Sri Lankan elephant is found on the Island of Sri Lanka and is thought to have arrived there from southern India. Despite once roaming the Island, the Sri Lankan elephant is now restricted to just a few designated National parks as the Sri Lankan elephants natural habitat gets turned into crop fields.

The Sri Lankan elephant has smaller ears than the African elephant and the Sri Lankan elephant also has a more curved spine than the African elephant. Unlike the African elephants, the female Sri Lankan elephants very rarely have tusks, and if the female Sri Lankan elephant does have tusks, they are generally barely visible and can only be seen when the female Sri Lankan elephant opens her mouth.

The Sri Lankan elephant follows strict migration routes that are determined by the monsoon season. The eldest elephant of the Sri Lankan elephant herd is responsible for remembering the migration route of its Sri Lankan elephant herd. This Sri Lankan elephant migration generally takes place between the wet and dry seasons and problems arose when farms where built along the migratory routes of the Sri Lankan elephant herds, as the Sri Lankan elephants caused a great deal of destruction to the newly founded farmland.

Sri Lankan elephants are herbivorous animals meaning that they only eat plants and plant matter in order to gain all of the nutrients that they need to survive. Sri Lankan elephants eat a wide variety of vegetation including grasses, leaves, shoots, barks, fruits, nuts and seeds. Sri Lankan elephants often use their long trunk to assist them in gathering food.

Due to their large size, Sri Lankan elephants have very few predators within their natural environment. Besides human hunters, tigers are the primary predator of the Sri Lankan elephant, although they tend to hunt the smaller Sri Lankan elephant calves rather than the much larger and stronger adults.

Female Sri Lankan elephants are generally able to breed by the time they are 10 years old, and give birth to a single Sri Lankan elephant calf after a 22 month gestation period. When the Sri Lankan elephant calf is first born, it weighs about 100 kg, and is cared for not only by it's mother by also by other female Sri Lankan elephants in the herd (known as aunties). The infant Sri Lankan elephant remains with its mother until it is around 5 years old and gains its independence, with males often leaving the herd and female calves staying.

Today, the Sri Lankan elephant is considered to be an animal that is in immediate danger of becoming extinct due to the fact that Sri Lankan elephant populations have been declining at a critical rate. Sri Lankan elephants are thought to be suffering primarily due to habitat loss in the form of deforestation and hunting for their ivory tusks by human poachers.

Sri Lankan Elephant Comments

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First Published: 6th July 2010, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 06 Jul 2010]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals [Accessed at: 06 Jul 2010]
4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 06 Jul 2010]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 06 Jul 2010]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 06 Jul 2010]

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