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Why do African elephants have bigger ears than Indian elephants?

African elephants have larger ears than Indian, or Asiatic, elephants because they live in hotter conditions and are bigger and more aggressive and active. The huge ears of the African elephant, sometimes three and a half feet wide, enable it to hear more acutely. When the animal charges its fans out its ears, augmenting its terrible appearance and striking fear into the heart of any enemy.

The ears also present a large surface for losing body-heat. African elephants, who are at a disadvantage in the heat because of their large size, wave their ears to keep cool and to chase away flies. The African elephant is the biggest and noblest of land animals, reaching a height of 11 feet and a weight of nearly six tons.

The Asiatic elephant is smaller. It inhabits the forests of south-east Asia from India to Ceylon and Borneo. It does not like heat and seeks the deep shade of the forest. The Asiatic elephant likes bathing, and showers itself with water sprayed over its back from its flexible trunk. For hundreds of years this elephant has been domesticated and used as a beast of burden, and its relationship with man can be close. Elephants are said to have excellent memories.

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