The Differences Between Sumatran Elephant And African Elephant

The Differences Between Sumatran Elephant And African Elephant 1

The Differences Between Sumatran Elephant And African Elephant

 This friendly face and glazed-eyed mammal is known as a large, tall, and grayish body animal that widely spread across the continents of Asia and Africa. Because of its distribution area, only two species of elephants that are recognized in the world. They are among the African elephant (Loxodonta Africana) and the Asian elephant (Elephas Maximus).

Elephants can be easily found in habitats like forests, savannahs, marshes to deserts. Although elephants can be in many habitats, they will prefer habitats that are close to water. The big posture they have gic a positive impact on them. Many predators are reluctant to approach or even prey on elephants. Only young or children elephants are usually targeted by predators like hyenas, tigers, and lions.

One of the popular Asian elephants that is being discussed among scientists is the Sumatran elephant. This elephant is often compared to African elephant. Therefore, this article will share about the differences between African and Sumatran elephants from all aspects.


African elephants have 2 largest species in the world. They are African Forest elephant (Loxodonta Cyclotis) and African Savanna elephant (Loxodonta Africana). When the two of them are compared, the African Savanna elephant species is the largest in terms of body weight. African savanna elephants have an average body weight of 6 to 7 tons. This weight is twice as big as of African forest elephants.

Meanwhile, the Sumatran elephant, Elephas Maximus Sumatranus, is the only one species on the Sumatera island. The average weight of Sumatran elephant is only 4 to 5 tons. Then, the amount of Sumatran elephant in the wild is only 2.000 to 3.000 left. It’s very far from the African population in the wild which reaches hundreds of thousands elephants.


The African elephants have unique ear shape. Many argue that the shape of an African elephant’s ear resembles an African map. The size is also larger than the ears of Sumatran elephants. Meanwhile, the ears of Sumatran elephant are smaller with a conical shape resembling a triangle.

Then, the ivory of an African elephant looks longer than the ivory of a Sumatran elephant. And the head of African elephant is rounder with wider eyes than the Sumatran elephant.


The trunk is the most important organ of an elephant. This organ which is an extension of the upper lip and nose has many functions. Elephant needs its trunk to put food in the mouth, to breathe, to drink, to cleanse its body from the dust, to lift or grasp something, to communicate to its community, to sniff and to protect itself from the threat around it.

Sumatran elephant has a lip-like protrusion on the tip of its trunk. While the African elephant has 2 protrusions at the tip of his trunk.

Wrinkle Skin

Elephants have wrinkled skin that can keep their skin cool on any hot days. This skin condition is good to capture the humidity of the air, so that the body temperature of the elephant can be maintained. African elephant skin looks more wrinkled than Sumatran elephant skin. This is also affected by the temperature at which African elephants live.

Once you see the elephant show at 12.00-12.30, the ranger also will give you the details about the difference of Sumatran & African Elephant.

Book you Bali Safari marine Park ticket via SafariBaliTicket and get special offers for group booking.