AnAge entry for Elephas maximus

Classification (HAGRID: 03270)

Taxonomy
Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Mammalia (Taxon entry)
            Order: Proboscidea
                Family: Elephantidae
                    Genus: Elephas
Species
Elephas maximus
Common name
Asian elephant

Lifespan, ageing, and relevant traits

Maximum longevity
65.5 years (captivity)
Source
ref. 671
Sample size
Large
Data quality
Acceptable
Observations

Elephants are long-lived mammals but suffer from teeth erosion as a type of mechanical senescence despite having as much as six sets of molars in a lifetime. Although both sexes may become sexually mature at about 9 years of age, males do not normally reproduce until they are about 15 years old. Full size is attained at about 17 years of age [0434]. There is much speculation and anecdotes about the longevity of elephants with reports of animals living more than 80 years. In particular, it has been reported that a male elephant called "Lin Wang" died at the age of 86 in Taipei Zoo [0536]. This record is unconfirmed, however, because the animal was estimated to be 26 when it was obtained, which is impossible to verify. Other reports of animals living over 70 years are plausible but have not yet been verified. Therefore, the oldest elephant on record was probably a wild born female that was about 65-66 years when she died in captivity [0671].

Life history traits (averages)

Female sexual maturity
3,287 days
Male sexual maturity
3,287 days
Gestation
644 days
Weaning
548 days
Litter size
1 (viviparous)
Litters per year
0.2
Inter-litter interval
1,141 days
Weight at birth
107,000 g
Weight at weaning
Adult weight
3,178,000 g
Postnatal growth rate
Maximum longevity residual
135%

Metabolism

Typical body temperature
309ºK or 35.8ºC or 96.4ºF
Basal metabolic rate
2336.5000 W
Body mass
3672000.0 g
Metabolic rate per body mass
0.000636 W/g

References

External Resources

Integrated Taxonomic Information System
ITIS 584938
Animal Diversity Web
ADW account
Encyclopaedia of Life
Search EOL
NCBI Taxonomy
Taxonomy ID 9783
Entrez
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Ageing Literature
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Internet
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