ELEPHAS MAXIMUS : ELEPHANT
CLASSIFICATION OF ELEPHANT : ELEPHAS MAXIMUS
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).
Class :-MAMMALIA ( Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands ).
Sub-class :- THERIA ( Viviparous ).
Infra class :- EUTHERIA ( Placental mammals, vagina single ).
Order :- PROBOSCIDEA (Nose and upper lip long muscular proboscis like)
Genus :- Elephas
Species :- maximus
Allover world in past and especially found in India, Africa, Sri Lanka and Borneo. Eocene to Recent.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Gregarious, live in small and large hordes of 8-10 to many. Feeding on trees, tall grasses and bamboos. Inhabiting forests to semi-arid bush fields and from coastal plains to high mountain forests and cool Alpine meadows. Water requirement regular. Rarely away from source of water.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF ELEPHAS MAXIMUS : ELEPHANT
- Commonly called as Elephant or Hathi. The most popular and powerful mammals.
- Body massively built and divided into head, short mobile flat neck, huge trunk, chest, abdomen and tail.
- On average, when fully-grown, males are about 2.75 m (9.0 ft) tall at the shoulder and 4 t (4.4 short tons) in weight, while females are smaller at about 2.4 m (7.9 ft) at the shoulder and 2.7 t (3.0 short tons) in weight.
- Large head contains small eyes and broad ears.
- Characteristic feature is proboscis or long trunk. It is formed by nose and upper lip and has nasal passage and nostrils at tip. Proboscis or trunk serves as highly flexible arm enabling the elephant to lift food and water into mouth.
- The distinctive trunk is an elongation of the nose and upper lip combined; the nostrils are at its tip, which has a one finger-like process. The trunk contains as many as 60,000 muscles, which consist of longitudinal and radiating sets
- Two upper incissors are elongated as tusks. Molar tooth with transverse enamel rows for grinding.
- Legs pillar-like. Feet club-like. Toes 5, each with small nail-like hoof. Weight is borne on elastic pads behind toes.
- Sense of smell and hearing well developed. Eye sight poor. Tail is small.
Very useful to mankind. Man has used elephants in wars, for transport. Elephant tusk is used to make handle of various articles and for ornamental purpose. Slowest breeder. Gestation period 22 months. Only one calf is born. Male elephant discharges a dark oily substance called musth from glands in the temple. Musth is discharged when level of testosterone in blood becomes high. At this time male elephant becomes very aggressive. Elephants provide solid evidence in favour of organic evolution.
Animal has fan like ear, massive size and above features, hence it is Elephant.
- Book of Practical Zoology VERTEBRATE by S.S.LAL – Rastogi Publications.
- IMAGE SOURCE :- https://unsplash.com/images/animals/elephant