Trivia question for Oct-30-2011

Posted on Oct 30, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia and Carter had the opportunity to hand feed these guys last year while they were in New Orleans working with the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Center after the Gulf oil spill.  These elephants are so much fun to work with.  Olivia decided to see if she can stump everyone with her trivia.

These are the second largest living land animals.  They live in extended, family-based herds led by the eldest female.  These guys have been used as a ‘Beast of Burden’ for over 5,000 years.  These animals is widely domesticated, and has been used in forestry for centuries and also for ceremonial purposes. Historical sources indicate that they were used during harvest seasons 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.  Tusks serve to dig for water, salt, and rocks, to debark trees, as levers for maneuvering fallen trees and branches, for work, for display, for marking trees, as weapon for offense and defense, as trunk-rests, as protection for the trunk. They are known to be right or left tusked.

So here are Olivia’s questions: Tell us what type of elephant this is and how you can tell them apart from their relatives which live on a different continent? These guys are the only land mammal that routinely lives as long as humans, tell us how long they typically live?  As a bonus, tell us how many on these guys are estimated to be left in the wild?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations goes out to Jean Netherton for being the first with the correct answer and to Napat Malathum for also getting the trivia right but for sending us the cool information about these elephants. The elephants we featured are the Asian Elephants. The Asian or Asiatic elephant are distributed in Southeast Asia from India in the west to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognized — Elephas maximus maximus from Sri Lanka, the Indian elephant or from mainland Asia, and E. m. sumatranus from the island of Sumatra. Asian elephants are the largest living land animals in Asia.

In general, Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants and have the highest body point on the head. Their back is convex or level. Their ears are small with dorsal borders folded laterally. They have up to 20 pairs of ribs and 34 caudal vertebrae. Their feet have more nail-like structures than the ones of African elephants — five on each forefoot, and four on each hind foot. Also as Napat pointed out Asian elephants only have ‘one-lipped’ or ‘one finger’ on their trunks’. African elephants have what appears to be two fingers on their trunks and their ears (appart from being larger) are said to be shaped like the African continent.

Asian elephants are rather long-lived, with a maximum recorded life span of 86 years. It is estimated that there are only about 25,000 individuals left in the wild.  Here is more on these majestic creatures: Asian Elephants

Thanks for playing along 😉