General Characteristics of Indian / Asian Elephants
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General Characteristics of Indian / Asian Elephants

General Characteristics of Indian / Asian ElephantsFood Habits
The Asian Elephant is an herbivore and feeds itself on bamboo, berries, mangoes, shrubs, tree, bananas, wood, apples, wild rice and coconuts. Since their bodies make use of only half of the food they consume, the elephant must eat between 330 and 350 pounds of food each day for their survival. On an average an elephant drinks 22 to 30 gallons of water each day.

The areas with thick forests and an abundant supply of food are the most preferred habitat of elephants. The elephants also like muddy areas, where they can cool off during the hot summers.

The fully-grown elephants are so large that they don't have natural enemies as they can easily crush most predators. The bigger animals attack only the very young elephants. The baby elephant's mother is very protective of her young and when she is away, other females of the herd take care of her young.

Social Structure
Do you know that elephants have a matriarchal society and the leader of the herd is an elder female? Male elephants join a herd usually during mating season. The members of an elephant herd communicate with each by a combination of gestures and sounds. Elephants are known to have a strong sense of commitment to other members of the herd.

Birth and Offsprings
Female elephants can start breeding at the age of 12. Once a female becomes pregnant, she gives birth to baby after 630 to 660 days, which is the longest gestation period for any land animal. The baby elephant is called calf and it weighs about 200 to 250 pounds at the time of birth and can walk just 2 hours after it is born.

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