Published June 28, 2019 | Animal Knowledge, Animals, Elephant

The Asian Elephant is the other extant – meaning they’re still alive – Elephant species in our planet. They are also the distant relatives of the African Elephants.

However, their differences don’t end with just their names! Asian and African Elephants have other distinct differences to tell them apart.

To learn more about interesting facts regarding Elephants, read our blogs.

In this article, we’ll provide an insight into the Asian Elephant and how you can tell the difference between them and their African relatives!

Elephants Characteristics

Size & appearance

First of all, the easiest way to tell the difference between the two Elephant species is by looking at their size, and we mean compare them side by side. The two Elephant species are rarely seen next to each other, and pictures on the internet or television really don’t depict it as well as seeing them in person.


Asian elephant


When compared to the Asian Elephant, the African Elephant is significantly larger and broader in appearance.

Another easy indicator to differentiate between Asian and African Elephants is by looking at their ears.

Asian Elephants have smaller, and rounder ears. Whereas African Elephants have large ears – that bear a striking resemblance to the continent of Africa. Part of the reason for this evolution is due to the differing environments that both Elephants live in. An Elephant’s ears radiate heat to cool down their large bodies. The environment in Africa is much hotter than in Asia, therefore the Elephant’s in Africa have evolved to have larger ears in order to dissipate heat better.


Tusk & ivory

Elephant Tusk


Elephants naturally use their tusks to dig for water, pull roots from the ground, strip tree barks and also to defend themselves. However, Asian Elephants have significantly smaller tusks – some have no tusks at all! Male Asian Elephants have small tusks that are barely visible, while females have no tusks at all.

We hope you’ve learned a couple of things about the Asian Elephant. Now it’s time to apply what you learned and meet the Elephants in person. Come visit them at Bali Safari Park!