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E'LEPHANT (Gr. Elephas), a genus of quadru- / which would be too violent a motion for its con. peds, of the order Pachydermata (q. v.), and of the formation and huge body, but a sort of shuffle, the section Proboscidea. Elephants are the largest speed of which is increased or diminished without existing land animals. The ordinary height at the other alteration. The E. is incapable of springing shoulder is about eight feet, but sometimes exceeds like the deer, horse, and other animals which have ten feet. The weight of a large E. is about five the bones of their shoulders and hocks set at an tons, the body being very bulky in proportion to angle. its height. To sustain this weight, it is furnished The head in elephants is large; the neck is short with limbs of colossal thickness and strength, which and thick, the long flexible proboscis compensating are also remarkably straight, each bone resting both for the shortness of the neck, and for the inflexivertically on that beneath it. From the appear- bility caused by the largely developed processes ance of inflexibility presented by the limbs, arose of its vertebræ, and enabling the animal readily the notion prevalent among the ancients, and to reach objects on the ground, or to a height of throughout the middle ages, that the limbs are several feet above its head, or on either side. А destitute of joints, and that consequently an E. great extent of bony surface in the head affords cannot lie down to rest like another quadruped, attachment for muscles destined to move and give and if it were to lie down, could not rise again, power to the proboscis or trunk. This extent of but always sleeps standing, or leaning against a bony surface is provided in a remarkable manner, tree. It is indeed true that the E. often sleeps which at the same time makes the head, heavy standing, and when fatigued, falls asleep leaning as it is, lighter in proportion to its bulk than is against a rock or tree, against which it may have usual in quadrupeds ; a great space separating the been rubbing itself. The flexibility of the limbs is, internal and external tables of all the bones of the however, sufficient to permit elephants to run with skull, except the occipital bones, so that the space speed nearly equal to that of a horse, to indulge in occupied by the brain is but a small part of the playful gambols, and to ascend and descend steep whole head. The space between the tables of the mountains. Elephants are more sure-footed and bones is occupied by cells, some of which are four or serviceable than either horses or mules, in difficult five inches in length; others are small, irregular, mountain roads. On the very steepest declivities, an and honeycomb-like; these all communicate with E. works his way down pretty rapidly, even with a each other, and through the frontal sinuses with the howdah and its occupants upon his back, his chest cavity of the nose, and also with the tympanum or and belly on the ground, and each fore-foot employed drum of each ear; consequently, as in some birds, in making a hole for itself
, into which the hind foot these cells are filled with air. The huge and afterwards follows it, and to which the weight may extraordinary bones of the skull, besides affording be trusted, that another step may be ventured with attachment for muscles, afford mechanical support safety. In lying down, the E. does not bring his to the tusks. hind-legs under him, like the horse and other quad- The nasal bones of the E. are scarcely more than rupeds, but extends them backwards (as man does rudimentary; but the tapering proboscis, to the when he assumes the kneeling position), an arrange- very extremity of which the nostrils are prolonged, ment which, 'by enabling him to draw the hind-feet is nearly eight feet in length. Besides the great gradually under him, assists him to rise almost muscles connected with it at its base, it is composed without a perceptible effort. The E.'s pace, when of a vast multitude of small muscles variously interexceeding a walk, is neither a trot nor a gallop, laced, but chiefly either longitudinal, and divided
into successive arcs, of which the convexity is out- many ways for their comfort or enjoyment, as in wards, or transverse, and radiating from the internal throwing dust over their backs, or in fanning themto the external membrane. Cuvier states the selves and switching away flies with a leafy branch, number of muscles having the power of distinct two practices to which they are greatly addicted. action as not
far short of 40,000. The trunk can be Their mutual caresses are also managed by means coiled around a tree, and employed to tear it from of the trunk, and through it they make a loud its roots; it is a formidable weapon of offence or shrill sound, indicative of rage, which is described
by Aristotle as resembling the hoarse sound of a trumpet, and from which this organ received its French name trompe, corrupted in English into trunk. With the trunk also, they sometimes, when angry, beat violently on the ground.
The sense of smell is very acute in the E., as is also that of hearing. The ears are large and pendulous, the eyes are small.
Elephants have no canine teeth, nor have they any incisors in the lower jaw. The upper jaw is furnished with two incisors, which assume the peculiar character of tusks, and attain an enormous size, a single tusk sometimes weighing 150 or even 300 lbs. The tusks are, however, often imperfectly developed, ten or twelve inches in length, and one or two in diameter. These stunted tusks are often used for such purposes as snapping off small branches and tearing Climbing plants from trees. Those elephants which possess great tusks employ them also for such other uses as loosening the
roots of trees which they cannot otherwise tear Various positions of the Elephant's Trunk : 1, female elephant suckling her young one ; 2, the young one; for such labours as moving great stones, and piling
from the ground; or in a state of domestication, 3, elephant reposing; 4, elephant swimming; 5, young elephant browsing.
or carrying timber. A powerful E. will raise and
carry on his tusks a log of half a ton weight or defence, and is far more employed in this way than more. The tusks of the E. surpass in size all other the tusks, even by those elephants which have tusks teeth of existing animals, and are the largest of all of great size; its extremity can be wound around a teeth in proportion to the size of the body. They small handful of grass or a slender branch; it is consist chiefly of that variety of dentine called even capable of plucking the smallest leaf, or of IVORY (q. v.), and continue to grow-like the lifting a pin from the ground. To fit it for such incisors of the rodents, to which they are in some actions as those last mentioned, and for many such respects analogous—even when the animal has as might be performed by a hand, it is furnished at the extremity with what may be likened to a
B finger and thumb; on the upper side, an elongated process-strong, soft, and flexible, like the rest of the trunk, and endowed with the most delicate sense of touch-on the under side, a kind of tubercle against which this process may be pressed. All the food of the E. is gathered and conveyed to the mouth by the trunk : by means of the trunk, also, it drinks,
A, skull of Indian elephant; B, skull of African clephant;
C, D, upper and lower molar teeth of Indian elephant; E, F, upper and lower molar teeth of African elephant ; G, the original state of the grinders when the laminæ of which thoy consist are as yet unconnected together; H, the lamine as they are attached in parallels one to the other by cortical substance.
attained a great age, if not to the very end of its
life. The young E. is at first furnished with 1, elephant drinking ; 2, elephant gathering long herbage; deciduous incisors, which are shed between the 3, elephant spouting water over its back.
first and second year, and are succeeded by the
permanent tusks. — The molar teeth of the Ė. are sucking up into it a quantity of water sufficient to developed in succession ; and at least in the Indian fill it, and then discharging the contents into the E., never more than two are to be seen in the same mouth. Valves at the base of the trunk prevent the side of a jaw at one time. The first molars cut the water from going too far up the nostrils. The trunk gum in' about two weeks after birth, and are shed is constantly employed by elephants in providing in about the end of its second year. The sixth molars,
which are also believed to be the last, are supposed on the legs. A marked distinction of the two to appear about the fiftieth year of the E.'s life. species is also found in the molar teeth ; those of The molar teeth of the E. are remarkable for the Indian E. exhibiting wavy parallel transverse their great size, and for the extreme complexity of ridges; whilst those of the African species have the their structure, to which the nearest resemblance is found in some of the small rodents. They are composed of vertical plates of bony substance, separately enveloped with enamel, and cemented together by a third substance, called crusta petrosa, cortical, or cement, more resembling bone than enamel. Each succeeding tooth is not only more complex, but occupies a greater space in the jaw than its predecessor. Although" formed from a single pulp, the molar tooth of an E. resembles an aggregation of teeth ; and in the earlier stages of its growth, when the cement is not yet deposited, it seems as if many separate teeth were soldered together. As the surface of the tooth is worn down by mastication, the harder enamel is exposed in elevated ridges. The whole of a tooth is not in employment at once. From the peculiar manner of its growth, the anterior part begins to be employed, and to be worn away, whilst the latter part is still in process of formation.
The digestive apparatus of the E. is similar to 1, head of African elephant; 2, head of Asiatic elephant. that of the other pachydermata; but the stomach, which is of a very lengthened and narrow form, divisions of the crown of the tooth fewer, broader, exhibits a peculiarity which assimilates it to that of and lozenge-shaped. the camel ; the internal membrane, at the extremity Elephants live in herds, not generally numerous, beyond the cardiac orifice, forming thick wrinkles but several herds often congregate together in the and folds, the broadest of which, and nearest to the same forest or at the same place of drinking. Each gullet, seems to act as a valve, making that end of herd has a leader, generally the largest and most the stomach a reservoir for water, capable of con- powerful animal. The leader seems to exercise taining about ten gallons ; whilst a peculiar muscle, much control over the movements of the herd, gives connecting the windpipe and gullet, enables the the alarm in case of danger, and seems to examine animal to open this reservoir at pleasure, for the and decide for the whole herd as to the safety of regurgitation of the fluid, which is then sometimes proceeding in any particular direction. On account received into the trunk, and squirted over the body, of his tusks, the leader is very often the animal to free it from the nuisance of flies, or the heat of against which the efforts of the hunter are directed; a tropical sun.
but the rest of the herd do their utmost to protect The female E. has only two teats, situated between him, and when driven to extremity, they place him the fore-legs. The young suck with the mouth, in the centre, and crowd so eagerly to the front of and not with the trunk. They are suckled for about him that some of them must often be shot ere he two years. The period of gestation is also nearly can be reached. A family resemblance is usually two years, and a single young one is produced at a very visible among the elephants of the same herd; birth.
some herds are distinguished by greater stature, and The skin of the E. is very thick, of a dark-brown others by more bulky form and stronger limbs; colour, and in the existing species, has scarcely any some by particularly large tusks, some by slight covering of hair. The tail does not reach to the peculiarities of the trunk, &c. In the East Indies, ground, and has a tuft of coarse bristles at the distinctions of this kind have long been carefully end. The feet have in the skeleton five distinct noticed, and particular names are given to elephants toes, but these are so surrounded with a firm according to them, some being considered as highhorny skin, that only the nails are visible exter- caste, and others as low-caste elephants. An E. which nally, as on the margin of a kind of hoof. The by any cause has been separated from its herd, foot of the E. is admirably adapted for steep and seems never to be admitted into another, and these rough ground, the protective skin which covers solitary elephants are particularly troublesome, in the toes allowing them considerable freedom of their depredations exhibiting an audacity which motion.
the herds never exhibit; they are also savage and Only two existing species of E. are certainly much dreaded, whilst from a herd of elephants known, the Indian (3. Indicus) and the African (E. danger is scarcely apprehended. The E. is generally Africanus), although differences have recently been one of the most inoffensive of animals, although in a observed in the E. of Sumatra, which may perhaps state of domestication, it shews, as is well known, entitle it to be ranked as a distinct species. Ele a power both of remembering and resenting an phants are found in all parts of Africa, from the injury. Sahara southwards, where wood and water are The favourite haunts of wild elephants are in sufficiently abundant; also throughout India and the depths of forests—particularly in mountainous the south-eastern parts of Asia, and in some of the regions where they browse on branches, and from tropical Asiatic islands. They extend northwards which they issue chiefly in the cool of the night to the Himalaya; and Chittagong and Tiperah to pasture in the more open grounds. They are vie with Ceylon in the superior excellence of_the ready to plunder rice or other grain-fields, if not elephants which they produce. The Indian E. is deterred by fences, of ich, fortunately, they have, distinguished by a comparatively high oblong head, in general, an unaccountable dread, even although with a concave forehead; whilst the African has rather imaginary than real. A fence of mere reeds a round head and convex forehead. The ears of will keep them out of fields, where, as soon as the the African E. are much larger than those of the grain is removed, they enter by the gaps of the Indian, covering the whole shoulder, and descending fence, and may be seen gleaning among the stubble.
When the E. eats grass, 'nothing can be more hunger, that the next steps are taken towards graceful than the ease with which, before convey. taming him and making him a willing servant of ing it to his mouth, he beats the earth from its man. roots by striking it on his fore-leg.'. A cocoa-nut is Still more wonderful is the capture of a wild E., first rolled under foot, to detach the outer bark, sometimes by not more than two hunters, who for then stripped of the fibrous husk, and finally this purpose will go into the woods, without aid or crushed between the grinders, when the fresh milk attendants, their only weapon a flexible rope of is swallowed with evident relish. The fruit of the hide. With this they secure one of the E.'s hindpalmyra palm is another favourite food of elephants, legs, following his footsteps when in motion, or and they seem to have an instinctive knowledge of stealing close up to him when at rest, or sometimes the time of its ripening. Sugar-canes are also a spreading the noose on the ground, partially con. favourite food; indeed, elephants are very fond of cealed by roots and leaves, beneath a tree on which sweet things. Those which are brought to Britain one of the party is stationed, whose business it is to are generally fed on hay and carrots. The amount lift it suddenly by means of a cord. When arrested of daily food necessary for the E. in a state of by the rope being coiled around a tree, the E. domestication may be stated, on an average, at about naturally turns upon the man who is engaged in two hundred pounds in weight.
making it fast, but his companion interferes on his Elephants delight in abundance of water, and behalf, by provoking the animal; and thus not enter it very freely, often remaining in it for a only is the first rope made fast, but noose after considerable time and with great evident enjoyment. noose is passed over the legs, until all are at last They sometimes swim with not only the body but tied to trees, and the capture is complete; upon the head under water, the only part elevated above which the hunters build a booth for themselves in it being the extremity of the trunk.
front of their prisoner, kindle their fires for cooking, The habits of the African E. appear in no import and remain day and night till the E. is sufficiently ant respect to differ from those of the Indian tamed to be led away. elephant. It is the latter only that is at the But these huge animals are not always captured present day domesticated ; but it is certain that singly; whole herds are often taken at once. This the African species was anciently domesticated, and is accomplished by means of an enclosure, towards the figures on many Roman medals attest it. which the elephants are driven by great numbers
Elephants rarely breed in a state of domestication, of men encircling a considerable space, and conalthough, a few years ago, the birth of an elephant tracting the circle by slow degrees. Weeks, or took place in the Zoological Gardens of London, an even months, are spent in this operation, and at occasion of much interest not only to the scientific last the elephants, hemmed in on every side except but to the general public. They are generally tamed the mouth of the enclosure, enter it, and the gate within a few months after they are captured; some is immediately closed. The modes of constructing degree of severity being employed at first, which, the enclosure are different in different parts of the however, as soon as the animal has begun to respect East. Tame elephants are sometimes sent into it, the power of man, is exchanged for kindness and and the captives are in succession made fast to trees gentleness of treatment. Elephants intended for there, in a way somewhat similar to that practised domestication are captured in various ways. It in capturing single elephants. was formerly common to take them in pitfalls, but The E. first became known in Europe from its in this way they were often much injured. Another employment in the wars of the East: ‘in India, from method frequently practised is by the aid of tame the remotest antiquity, it formed one of the most elephants. Male elephants chiefly are captured in picturesque, if not of the most effective, features in this way, the decoy elephants employed being females, the armies of the native princes.' Elephants have trained for the purpose. With these the hunters been ight to cut and thrust with a kind of very cautiously approach the animal they mean to scimitar carried in the trunk, and it was formerly capture, and he generally permits them to come up usual for them to be sent into battle, covered with to him, and is so pleased to make the acquaintance of armour, and bearing towers on their backs, which the females, that he takes no notice of their riders contained warriors. But the principal use of the E. and other human attendants. Two of the females in war is for carrying baggage, and for dragging take their places, one on each side of him, and guns. An E. will apply his forehead to a cannon, whilst he is occupied with them, men, the profession and urge it through a bog, through which it would of whose lives it is, and who display a wonderful be almost impossible for men and cattle to drag it ; expertness in the work, contrive to get beneath or he will wind his trunk round it, and lift it up, their bodies, and to pass ropes round the legs of the whilst horses or cattle drag it forwards. Elephants intended captive. His two hind-legs are fastened are used in the East for carrying persons on their together by six or eight ropes in the form of the backs, a number being seated together in a howdah, figure 8, another rope keeping them tight at the whilst the driver (mahout) sits on the E.'s neck, intersections, and a strong cable with a running directing it by his voice and by a small goad. noose is attached to each hind-leg. About twenty Elephants have always a conspicuous place in the minutes are usually spent in fixing the necessary great processions and state displays of eastern ropes, profound silence being maintained if the princes, and white elephants-albinos--are peculiarly process goes on unobserved, or some of the other valued. Elephants are also employed in many kinds hunters distracting the attention of the E. from of labour, and display great sagacity in comprehendthose who are engaged in this work; and when ing the nature of their task and adapting them. at last, becoming sensible of bis danger, he tries selves to it. In piling timber, the E..manifests to retreat, an opportunity is soon found of tying an intelligence and dexterity which is surprising him, by means of the long cables which trail to a stranger, because the sameness of the operation behind him, to some tree strong enough for the enables the animal to go on for hours disposing of purpose. His fury then becomes ungovernable, and log after log, almost without a hint or direction he makes violent and prodigious efforts to get free, from his attendant.' throwing himself on the ground, and twisting him- of the sagacity of the E., many interesting self into the most extraordinary positions. It is not anecdotes are on record, as every reader of books until he has thoroughly exhausted himself, and of travels and of natural history knows. But Cuvier begins to suffer severely from fatigue, thirst, and refuses, and apparently with justice, to ascribe