||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 7
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||braches, multi-functional, despite, mild-tempered, molars, extension, lifetime, starvation, species, shift, rate, height, pounds, drape, length, dies
||Male African, Male Asian, Their African, Female Asian
1 Elephants are the largest land animals. They are very smart, and they have two flat, large ears, a long trunk, and a pair of long, curved tusks. Despite their size, elephants are mild-tempered, friendly animals. They are also vegetarians. Living only in Asia and Africa, elephants can be seen on grasslands, in forests, deserts, and marshes.
2 How can we tell an Asian elephant from its African relative? There are many clues:
- African elephants are the larger of the two species. Male African elephants can reach a height of 13 feet and a weight of 15,400 pounds. Male Asian elephants, on the other hand, stand 10 feet tall and weigh 5,100 pounds.
- Asian elephants have smaller ears, averaging 2.5 feet long and 2 feet wide. African elephants have larger, broader ears that drape over their shoulders. African elephants' ears are on average 5 feet long and 4 feet wide.
- Asian elephants have a round forehead that looks like a bulb. Their African relatives have a low, flat forehead.
- Both sexes of African elephants have tusks. Female Asian elephants do not have tusks.
- Asian elephants have five toes on the front and four on the back. African elephants have four toes on the front and three on the back.
- Asian elephants have a rounded, humped back. African elephants have a straight, yet slightly swayed, back.
- An African elephant's trunk ends in two "fingers" that are used for picking up small objects while an Asian elephant's trunk ends in just one.
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