Wolf Run Studio - Wild Animals
Bill Harrah
Wolf Run Studio
P.O. Box 444
Clifton VA 20124

(703) 250-6711
(703) 764-9204





ELEPHANTS (Click on an image to see the actual notecard size)
#EPH-500 Notecards Only
Also available in Notecard Assortment Packs #AST-512 & #AST-514

The African elephant is the largest and strongest of all living land animals and may live as long as 60 years. An adult bull can weigh up to 13,000 lbs and stand 13 feet tall at the shoulder. Cows are smaller, weighing up to 8,000 lbs and measuring up to 8.5 feet tall. Calves weigh as much as 250 lbs at birth.

Possibly the most remarkable thing about the African elephant is its long and flexible muscular trunk. It is an elongated upper lip with nostrils at the end and two fingerlike bumps for grasping. With it the elephant can pluck leaves, gather fruit, crop grass, uproot trees, drink water, or blow dust and water over its body. Through it an elephant can catch faint scents or trumpet loudly.

Enormous fan-shaped ears help elephants cool off in hot weather. During the hottest part of the day, elephants stand in the shade and flap their ears to move air across their bodies. Flapping also helps to reduce body temperature by cooling blood that circulates through large blood vessels in the ears. On windy days, elephants simply hold their ears out to catch the cooling breezes.

Elephants live in a complex multi-tiered social system centered around small family units composed of several adult females and their calves of various ages. Each unit is led by the oldest, wisest female in the family. She is responsible for the group’s safety and for finding food and water. All females, including adolescents, share in teaching and caring for infants. Adolescent bulls are forced to leave the family at about thirteen years of age. They will either live alone or in the company of other bulls. Despite their independence, bulls are still sociable and are rarely found more than a mile from another bull or family unit.

Family units within kinship groups usually stay within hearing range of each other so they can swiftly combine to beat off attacks by predators. Aggregations tend to be very large when food is plentiful or the danger of predation is high, and small when food availability is low.

Text © 1996 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1996 Bill Harrah.

#EPH-501 Notecards
#LE-EPH-501 Limited Edition Print

The Asian elephant has played an important role in the culture, religion and economy of the Asian peoples for at least 4,000 years. They were used in warfare until the introduction of gunpowder, which startled them. Resplendent in embroidered, jewel-encrusted finery and elaborate face paint, Asian elephants continue to play a significant role in religious ceremonies. They also are still used for heavy labor, especially hauling lumber and plowing fields. Most work elephants are born in the wild because breeding them in captivity is too expensive. After a 22-month gestation period, the female must spend much of the next three years tending to her calf. The elephants are not ready for training until they are 10 years old.

On average, the Asian elephant is about one third smaller and lighter than its African counterpart. Its ears are about half the size of those of the African elephant. The Asian elephant’s trunk also is smoother and sports only one fingerlike structure rather than two.

Increasingly threatened by expanding human populations, only 35,000-50,000 Asian elephants now remain in the wild. Conservation efforts are underway to restore their fragmented habitat and establish migration corridors between protected forest areas. The largest wild populations of Asian elephants can be found in India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.

Text © 2003 Terry White, Drawing © 2003 Bill Harrah.

    Asian Elephants
    Limited Edition Print
    Issue Date: 03/2003
    Edition Size: 500
    Image: 6.5” x 8.25”
    Paper: 8.5” x 11”
    Mat: 11” x 14”
    View matted print

Copyright Notice
Drawings Copyright © 1992-2013 Bill Harrah, Wolf Run Studio (SM), All Rights Reserved. Wolf Run Studio is a service mark of Bill Harrah and has been in continuous use since 1992. All of the images on this website are in tangible form and are fully copyrighted. Each has an invisible digital identification which is traceable through the Digimarc Corporation. Viewers of the Wolf Run Studio website are allowed to browse and print out images for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not distribute copies of images or image files to anyone else for any reason. Images may not be reproduced or used in any form or any manner, or displayed on any website without the express written consent of Bill Harrah.

Text Copyright © 1992-2013 Terry White or Dianne Harrah. Text on this website is used with permission from the authors. Viewers of the Wolf Run Studio website are allowed to browse and print out text for personal, non-commercial use only. Text may not be reproduced or used in any form or any manner without the express written consent of the authors.

Information Accuracy
The information for the written description of each animal has been carefully researched by the authors and is believed to be accurate. New scientific observations, however, could make some information out-of-date. If you are a professional zoologist, and have new information that you are willing to share, please contact Dianne Harrah .