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The Syrian Elephant (Elephas maximus asurus)

Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#1
( This post was last modified: 11-24-2017, 12:40 AM by Ngala )

So I heard this particular subspecies of Elephas Maximus is huge, perhaps rival the largest African Elephant.

Does anyone have more info about the giant Asian Elephant?

I think they are pretty underrated in most of cases.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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#2

Some Asian elephants with long turks look like the Palaeoloxodon more than anything else.


*This image is copyright of its original author
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Sri Lanka Apollo Offline
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#3

Very nice read on ancient history

Elephant Mystery at Ancient Syrian Battle Solved


The mystery of an ancient battle between two warring troops of elephants has been solved, thanks to a modern genetic analysis of the lumbering beasts.

Researchers have now found that Eritrean elephants, which live in the northeastern portion of Africa, are savanna elephants, and are not related to the more diminutive forest elephants that live in the jungles of central Africa.

That, in turn, discounts an ancient Greek account of how a battle between two warring empires played out, with one side's elephants refusing to fight and running away, the scientists report in the January issue of the journal of Heredity.




Ancient battle

In the third century B.C., the Greek historian Polybius described the epic Battle of Raphia, which took place around 217 B.C. in what is now the Gaza Strip, as part of the Syrian Wars. During these wars, Seleucid ruler Antiochus III the Great fought against Ptolemy IV Philopator, the fourth ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt, whose last leader was Cleopatra. The matchup included tens of thousands of troops, thousands of cavalry and dozens of war elephants on each side.

The elephants were the "ace in the hole," able to trample the enemy and sow terror with their massive size.

"Elephants were considered the tanks of the time, until eventually the Romans figured out how to defeat war elephants," in later times, said study co-author Alfred Roca, an animal scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Antiochus had easy access to Asian elephants from India, but Ptolemy didn't. Instead, he set up outposts in what is now modern-day Eritrea to get African elephants.

Unfortunately, that strategy didn't work out so well: According to Polybius' account, the African elephants turned tail and ran when they saw how gigantic the Asian elephants were. Ptolemy, however, was able to recover due to missteps by Antiochus and eventually won the battle.



African elephants

In reality, Asian elephants are smaller than African elephants, so some historians speculated that perhaps the Ptolemies were using African forest elephants, which tend to be smaller, Roca said.

So Roca and his colleagues conducted a thorough genetic analysis of the elephants found in Eritrea, the descendants of the losers in the ancient battle.

"We showed using pretty much every genetic marker, that they were savanna elephants," Roca told LiveScience. "This was contrary to some speculation that there may be forest elephants present in that part of the world."

The team also found that there were just 100 to 200 African elephants left in isolated pockets in Eritrea, which could make them susceptible to inbreeding in the future.



Ancient myths

The findings suggest that Polybius had it wrong, and the African elephants got spooked for some other reason than the overpowering size of the Asian elephants.

In other ancient documents, "There were these ancient semi-mythical accounts of India, and they claimed that India had the biggest elephants in the world," Roca said.

Polybius, who wasn't actually at the battle, likely read those accounts and surmised the Asian elephants' bigger size caused their opponents to panic.

In fact, until about the 1700s, when scientists actually measured the two, most people still thought Asian elephants were the larger species, Roca said. (And even now, games such as Age of Empires that recreate the Battle of Raphia depict the Ptolemaic elephants as smaller.)


http://www.livescience.com/42672-elephan...attle.html
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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BTW, during the ancient time, the Asian elephants and the African elephants were about the same size.

However, they were using the smaller subspecies of the African elephant against the largest subspecies of the Asian elephant, that's why it got trampled during a confrontation.
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Germany Wanderfalke Offline
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#5

(02-18-2015, 11:57 PM)'GrizzlyClaws' Wrote: Some Asian elephants with long turks look like the Palaeoloxodon more than anything else.


*This image is copyright of its original author


 


thanks for the picture Grizzly [img]images/smilies/wink.gif[/img] indeed some similarities with Palaeoloxodon
 
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-22-2015, 01:07 AM by GrizzlyClaws )

Elephas and Palaeoloxodon were extremely closely related to each other, and there is still some controversial debate about Palaeoloxodon being a subgenus of Elephas or a sister genus of it.
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Guatemala GuateGojira Offline
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( This post was last modified: 02-22-2015, 11:03 AM by GuateGojira )

Check this out:

*This image is copyright of its original author

This seems an image of that event.

Surely, the African elephants were the "dwarf" variety from the North of Africa, also used by Hannibal. On the Asian specimen, I can only guess that they were the famous "giant" elephants from Persia.

 
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United States tigerluver Offline
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It seems all of ancient Asia's species are under-represented. I can only find sources mentioning greater size, but no measurements. So many unsolved mysteries, and not enough people in the field to solve the puzzle anytime soon.
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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(02-22-2015, 11:46 AM)'tigerluver' Wrote: It seems all of ancient Asia's species are under-represented. I can only find sources mentioning greater size, but no measurements. So many unsolved mysteries, and not enough people in the field to solve the puzzle anytime soon.

 

I can imagine that the Syrian subspecies can have more common 7-8 tonnes specimens like Raja Gaj, and maybe the largest specimen can grow up to 10 tonnes?


 
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Canada GrizzlyClaws Offline
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BTW, is there any modern Elephas specimen getting bigger than Raja Gaj?
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United States Smilodon-Rex Offline
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#11

Well, the Syrian Elephant may not the biggest species in Asian Elephants, in fact, they lack of the real specimen data. BTW, when ancient egyptians and seleucid empire were at war, the seleucid's military was using the major war elephants which came from India
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