Elephas maximus

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An elephant ornately decorated for a religious occasion at the temple in South India
Species name: Elephas maximus
The Asian or Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus), sometimes known by the name of one of its subspecies, the Indian Elephant, is one of the three living species of elephant, and the only living species of the genus Elephas. It is the largest living land animal in Asia. The species is found primarily in India, Sri Lanka, Burma and parts of Nepal and Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China, Bhutan, and Sumatra. It is considered endangered due to habitat loss and poaching, with between 41,410 and 52,345 elephants left in the wild. Asian elephants are rather long-lived, with a maximum recorded life span of 86 years. This animal is widely domesticated, and has been used in forestry in South and Southeast Asia for centuries and also in ceremonial purposes. Historical sources indicate that they were sometimes used during the harvest season primarily for milling. Wild elephants attract tourist money to the areas where they can most readily be seen, but damage crops, and may enter villages to raid gardens. (Source:Wikipedia)


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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Names of users who have contributed to this species page Gauravm
Date on which this page was first created 2011/02/02
This page was last modified on: 2 February 2011 20:26:43
Name of the species Elephas maximus Link to page on Wikipedia
ID on Encyclopedia of Life 997407 Link to page on EoL
Synonyms Please check Binomial Classification section for synonyms.
Common English Names Indian Elephant, Asian Elephant
Common Hindi Names हाथी Haathi
Common Indian names
Origins/Meanings of the common names

Taxonomy from Encyclopedia of Life

{{#EoLOnlyHierarchy:997407}} 

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Taxonomy filled in form

Taxon Value
Regnum (Kingdom) Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Proboscidea
Family Elephantidae
Genus Elephas
Source of data Encylopedia of Life

Other closely related species

SpeciesDivision/PhylumCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Moschus chrysogasterChordataAlpine Musk Deer
Crocidura andamanensisChordataAndaman shrew
Crocidura hispidaChordataAndaman spiny shrew
… further results
DivisionTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
ChordataThe phylum Chordata consists of three subphyla: Urochordata, represented by tunicates; Cephalochordata, represented by lancelets; and Craniata, which includes Vertebrata. Chordates are monophyletic, meaning that Chordata contains all and only the descendants of a single common ancestor which is itself a chordate, and that craniates' nearest relatives are cephalochordates. The Chordates arose from a more general superphylum Deuterostomia, which consists of Chordata, Hemichordata,Echinodermata and Xenoturbellida. The Deuterostomes split from Protostomes ~550 mya in the Cambrian era. It is supposed that Chordates arose in the Mid-Cambrian period, however there is controversy regarding that. The controversy arises mainly due to the fact that fossils of early chordates are very rare.Chordates form a phylum of creatures that are based on a bilateral body plan, and is defined by having at some stage in their lives all of the following: 1) A notochord, 2) A dorsal neural tube 3) Pharyngeal slits 4) A muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus and 5) An endostyle
SpeciesClassCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Moschus chrysogasterMammaliaAlpine Musk Deer
Crocidura andamanensisMammaliaAndaman shrew
Crocidura hispidaMammaliaAndaman spiny shrew
… further results
ClassTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MammaliaDepending on classification scheme, there are approximately 5,500 species (5,490, according to the IUCN Red List) of mammals, distributed in about 1,200 genera, 153 families, 29 orders The early synapsid mammalian ancestors, a group which included pelycosaurs such as Dimetrodon, diverged from the amniote line that would lead to reptiles at the end of the Carboniferous period. Although they were preceded by many diverse groups of non-mammalian synapsids (sometimes misleadingly referred to as mammal-like reptiles), the first true mammals appeared 220 million years ago in the Triassic period.Mammals are a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterized by the (1) possession of hair, (2) three middle ear bones -malleus, incus and stapes, (3) a neocortex, and (4) mammary glands functional in mothers with young. Mammalian fossils, however, are identified by the presence of the incus and malleus bones in the middle ear. Most mammals also possess sweat glands and specialized teeth, and the largest group of mammals, the placentals, have a placenta which feeds the offspring during gestation. The mammalian brain regulates endothermic and circulatory systems, including a four-chambered heart. Mammals range in size from the 30–40 millimeter (1- to 1.5-inch) Bumblebee Bat to the 33-meter (108-foot) Blue Whale. (Source:Wikipedia)
SpeciesOrderCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Elephas maximusProboscideaIndian Elephant, Asian Elephantहाथी Haathi
OrderTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
Proboscidea
SpeciesFamilyCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Elephas maximusElephantidaeIndian Elephant, Asian Elephantहाथी Haathi
SpeciesGenusCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Elephas maximusElephasIndian Elephant, Asian Elephantहाथी Haathi

Based on classification

More details can be found in the Binomial Classification section.

Information from Encyclopedia of Life

{{#EoLOnlyEcology:997407|Physical description~Description}} If nothing is displayed above in this section, it means the EoL ID has not been defined OR the EoL API service is down. If former, please click on Edit with form button on top and follow the instructions for filling in the EoL ID

General morphology

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General morphological features of the animal

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
IUCN Conservation Status Endangered
(See section External Links to find link to the page on IUCN website)
IUCN Red List
Indian States in which the species has been documented
Locations at which the species has been documented
Biotic zones inhabited
Details about the habitat
Is this species native to India?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Sub-Himalayan regions?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Western Ghats?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Eastern Ghats?

Animal is not native or native status not filled in

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Information from Encyclopedia of Life

{{#EoLOnlyEcology:997407|Reproduction~Lifespan, longevity, and ageing~Food Habits~Functional adaptation~Behavior}}

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Details filled in form

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Life cycle
Life expectancy
Food habits and feeding strategies
Functional adaptations
Behavior
Pests and Diseases

Information from Encyclopedia of Life 500px-Status iucn3.1.png

{{#EoLOnlyEcology:997407|Conservation Status~Threats~Conservation}}

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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
IUCN Status Endangered
(See section External Links to find link to the page on IUCN website)
Conservation sanctuaries in India
Details of threats to conservation of this species Numbers of Asian elephants were decimated by habitat loss and hunting throughout their historical range. Vast tracts of land have been logged or simply cleared to accommodate the growing human population in the region. Elephant populations have become increasingly isolated in the fragmented habitat that remains, often coming into conflict with local farmers. Crops are damaged and lives lost; up to 300 people a year are killed by elephants in India, leading to retaliation on local elephants. Poaching for ivory is also a threat and because only males have tusks, populations can become extremely skewed towards females, thus affecting breeding rates. Encyclopedia of life
Means of management of conservation, national and international laws The Asian elephant is protected from international trade by its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), although illegal poaching remains a problem (3). Many elephants occur within protected reserves but these are often too small to accommodate them, leading to human-elephant conflict (3). The creation of wildlife corridors to extend reserve lands, together with the cessation of poaching are just some of the conservation steps needed to secure the future of the Asian elephant (7). The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched the Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) in 1998 to address these issues, and this multifaceted conservation programme is also working with local people to reduce conflict with these magnificent animals. Encyclopedia of Life

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Does this species have any cultural significance? Yes User-reported
Religions which mention/give significance to this species Hinduism, Buddhism
Cultural and religious occasions when this species is used Temple processions
Details of historical, cultural and mythological use Elephants have been considered sacred in Indian culture. The head of Lord Ganesha, the God of wisdom, is that of an elephant. As the mythological story goes, Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva was alone at home and wanted to have a bath. To guard the entrance, Parvati created a human child - Ganesha - out of the earth and asked him to guard the entrance while she took a bath. While Parvati was bathing, Lord Shiva came to the scene and wanted to enter the house. However Ganesha blocked him from entering saying that it was his mother's orders not to allow anyone inside. Enraged, Lord Shiva cut off Ganesha's head and entered the house. Parvati, upon learning this, was overcome with grief. Upon learning that Ganesha was his own son, Lord Shiva felt sad too. Parvati then asked Lord Shiva to go down the Himalayas (their abode), cut off the head of the first animal he sees and splice it onto the headless body of Ganesha. The first animal Lord Shiva found was an elephant and that is how Lord Ganesha came to have the elephant's head and thus, infinite wisdom.

The elephant plays an important part in the culture of the subcontinent and beyond, featuring prominently in Jataka tales and the Panchatantra. Elephants have also been used traditionally as vehicles for royalty - kings, emperors and monarchs. They were used in battles by almost all armies in India, since pre-historic times. Elephants are used in cultural festivals such as temple processions in Kerala.

Gauravm, Wikipedia

Pubmed Word cloud

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{{#queryDB:taxonomy |Elephas maximus }}

  • If there is an error message above, it means that there is no retrievable information available on NCBI
  • If the number of nucleotide sequences is less than 100, very little genomic work has been done on this species. A respectable number of nucleotide sequences is above 500.
  • Most of the nucleotide sequences may come from three sources:
  1. Studies on single genes, where people try to sequence genes such as some specific dehydrogenases important,say, for tannin production
  2. Sequences of Ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer, whose sequence is used for generating molecular phylogenetic trees to establish species relationships
  3. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) which can tell about which genes are present and expressed in the species at a particular time in the given tissue


References

EoL (Web): Encyclopedia of Life entry, Accessdate=2011-02-02


Wikipedia (Web): Wikipedia entry, Accessdate=2011-02-02

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