There are two types of elephants: African Elephants and Indian Elephants.
Indian Elephants are mainly found in India, Sri Lanka and Asia. They are smaller than African elephants and have smaller ears and bigger higher foreheads. They live in forests.
An Indian Elephant can grow to 3 meters (10 feet) in height and can weigh up to 5,500 kg (12000 lbs).
It is greyish brown in colour and doesn't have fur like other animals. It has very rough skin and prickly hair instead (not much hair really).
It has a really long nose called a "trunk" which it uses for all sorts of things like breathing, picking things up, picking fruits from trees and sucking up water which it squirts into its mouth. The tip of its trunk is very sensitive and can smell very very well.
It has large ears which it flaps about to cool itself when its hot and also when it is angry. It can hear very well too.
The male elephant grows two long tusks which are really his two front teeth.
An elephant lives for about 60 years.
An elephant eats lots and lots of food - as much as 200kg (500lbs) a day. It eats mainly grass, leaves, fruits and bark. It loves sugar cane and bananas (lots and lots of bananas).
Elephants love taking baths and like to cover their bodies with mud. This helps protect them from insect bites.
Working elephants are used to haul logs. They are very strong. They are good at hauling heavy things but are not suitable for carrying too much stuff on their backs. A working elephant has a caretaker called a mahout who takes care of it and tells it what do to. An elephant becomes very attached to its mahout.
You ride an elephant by sitting on his neck. Its rather scary though being so high up in the air and it feels very very wobbly. Sometimes when it flaps its ears it hits you on your legs.
Here is a picture of me being carried by an elephant. It wrapped its trunk around my waist and lifted me off the ground. It was so scary!!!!!!
Elephants are very gentle and peaceful animals.
They are an endangered species (that means there aren't too many of them left and we have to protect them). There are only a few thousand left in Sri Lanka now.
Baby elephants are very playful. They are still very strong and can easily knock you over. They have a lot more hair than the adult elephants.