There are two species of elephants in family Elephantidae left on planet earth. During the Pleistocene there were 6 families of elephant like organisms but they have all gone extinct except for the two species left today. The Asiatic elephant, Elephas maximus, is the species seen in the above photograph. This species has the shorter ears and is native to the jungles and savannas of India and Southern Asia. Its larger eared cousin, Loxodonta africana, is found in Africa.
Elephants generally live in female dominated herds. Adult males tend to be present during breeding seasons and tend to live by themselves or in male herds at other times. Pictured above is an elderly female possibly a grandmother, a mother, and her offspring. Asiatic elephants appear to have a less hierarchical social structure than their African cousins possibly due to their more predictable environment in terms of water and food availability.
Both adults in the above image use their bodies and their trunks to help guide the youngster and curb its enthusiasm for mischief. These elephants reside at the Oklahoma City Zoo which is a wonderful place to visit and observe the variety of creatures on display. Take your walking shoes, it’s an all day experience.