All About Elephant Around The World

Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct.[Three species of elephant are generally recognized today: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant (also known as the Indian elephant). However, some researchers postulate the existence of a fourth species of elephant in West Africa. All other species and genera of Elephantidae are extinct. Most have been extinct since the last ice age, although dwarf forms of mammoths might have survived as late as 2,000 BCE. Elephants and other Elephantidae were once classified with other thick-skinned animals in a now invalid order, Pachydermata. Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth today. The elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal. At birth, an elephant calf typically weighs 105 kilograms (230 lb). They typically live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years. The largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1956. This male weighed about 24,000 lb (11,000 kg),[8] with a shoulder height of 3.96 metres (13.0 ft), a metre (yard) taller than the average male African elephant. The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete during the Pleistocene epoch. Elephants are a symbol of wisdom in Asian cultures and are famed for their memory and intelligence, where their intelligence level is thought to be equal to that of dolphins and primates. Aristotle once said the elephant was "the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind." The word "elephant" has its origins in the Greek ἐλέφας, meaning "ivory" or "elephant". According to observations, healthy adult elephants have no natural predators, although lions may take calves or weak individuals. They are, however, threatened by human intrusion and poaching. Olifant and its variations (ex. oliphant, olyphant) are archaic spellings of elephant. Aside from elephants, the word has been used to refer to ivory, elephant tusks, musical horns made of elephant tusks, or a musical instrument resembling such horns. It appears in Middle English as olifant or olifaunt, and was borrowed from Medieval French olifanz. The French word owes something to both Old High German olbenta "camel", and to Latin elephantus "elephant", a word of Greek origin. OHG olbenta is a word of old Germanic origin; cf. Gothic ulbandus also meaning "camel". But the form of the OHG and Gothic words suggests it is also a borrowing, perhaps indeed directly or indirectly from Greek "ἐλέφας" (elephas), which in Homer only meant "ivory" but from Herodotus and on the word also referred to the animal. The earliest attested form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek e-re-pa-to, written in Linear B syllabic script. Source: Article

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