How Much Does an Elephant Weigh? (Species, Life Stages & Gender Differences)

Known as the world’s largest and heaviest land mammal, elephants can live for up to 60 to 70 years. The easiest way to tell species apart is by looking at their ears, but you may not be able to tell the male from the female since their genitals are hidden between their legs.

Their trunk has more than 150,000 muscles and is the most sensitive organ, often used to suck up water to drink. It holds around 8 liters! But, the question on everyone’s mind is, how much do these huge mammals weigh?

SpeciesAverage Adult WeightAverage Birth Weight
African Bush Elephant~13000 lbs (6000 kg)~205 pounds (92 kg)
Asian Elephant~7000 lbs (3500 kg)~225 pounds (100 kg)
Palaeo – Naumanni~20000 lbs (9000 kg)Not confirmed
Borneo Elephant~8000 lbs (3650 kg)~200 pounds (90 kg)
Palaeo – Falconeri~500 lbs (225 kg)Not confirmed
African Forest Elephant~6000 lbs (2700 kg)~75 pounds (35 kg)
Sri-Lankan Elephant~12000 lbs (5400 kg)~220 pounds (98 kg)
Cyprus Dwarf Elephant~440 lbs (200 kg)Not confirmed
Sumatran Elephant~6000 lbs (2700 kg)~198 lbs (89 kg)
Indian Elephant~10000 lbs (4500 kg)~225 pounds (100 kg)

In the table above I’ve listed the average adult and birth weight of the 10 known elephant species. Read on to learn more about the weight of these magnificent animals.

1. African bush/Savanna elephant


The Savanna elephant is the biggest of all the species. It can grow at 30 feet (9 meters) from trunk to tail and weigh more than 13000 lbs. ((6tons/6000kg) and stand tall as 12ft (4meters) at the shoulder.

When calves are born, they weigh approximately 92kg (205 pounds). The African Elephants are herbivores and feed on grasses, creepers, and herbs.

The male tusks grow faster than females with a mean weight of 23 to 45kg (51-99lb). In length, the task can be as long as 1.5 to 2.4m (5-8ft). To identify this magnificent mammal, check for large ears and a concave back. 

2. Asian elephant (Elephas Maximus)


The Asian elephant is the second biggest elephant species. As the name suggests, this species lives in Asia and is commonly found in the south and southeast parts of the continent. They can grow to 18-21ft in length and stand tall at 8-10ft. That’s between 5.5 meters to 6.4 meters in length and between 2 to 3 meters in height. 

They weigh approximately 4000-10000lbs (2-5tons). Asian females lack tusks and are referred to as ‘tushes’ when they have them. The tasks are only visible when the elephant opens its mouth.

Asian elephants became famous when Sr Victor Brooks killed a mammal weight 907 pounds, 8 feet in length, and around 17 inches in circumference. Asian elephants have a twin-domed head that bears indentation in the middle.

3. Palaeoloxodon naumanni


These species are extinct and had a long pair of twisted tusks and a bulging head. The tusks were, on average, 2.4m and 20cm in circumference.

Compared to the Asian elephants, the Palaeoloxodon naumanni was a bit smaller, averaging about 2.5 meters. It lived in forests because of the cool temperate deciduous trees.

An adult Palaeoloxodon weighed around 10 tons, which is equal to 9,071 kilograms. They named the species after Heinrich Edmund Naumann, who discovered the fossil at Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan, about 43000 -24000 years ago.

4. Borneo elephant (Borneo pygmy)


It’s a subspecies of the Asian elephants that live in northeastern Borneo in Malaysia and Indonesia.

A calf weighs around 200 pounds or 90kg while a full-grown elephant weighs between 6500-11000 pounds or 3000-5000 kg. They can grow to a height of 8.2 to 9.8 ft. Interestingly, their trunk has one finger-like process, and their back is convex or level.

Also, they are passive and tame, which makes scientists think that their descendants were domestic.

5. Palaeoloxodon Falconeri (Maltese pygmy)


The Maltese pygmy was an excellent example of insular dwarfism. A male specimen measured about 96.5cm (3ft2in) in shoulder height and weighed around 305kg (672 pounds). In comparison, a female specimen measured 80cm in shoulder height and weighed about 168kg (370 pounds).

6. African forest elephant (Loxodonta Africana)


The forest elephant is the smallest of the living three species. It’s smaller than the African bush and weighs around 5950 or 2.7 tons and stands up to 2.5meters at the shoulder.

Both sexes have straight, down-pointing tusks that erupt when they are 1-3 years. They can grow to about 1.5m long and be as heavy as 50 to 100 lb when born.

Its diet consists of leaves, seeds, fruits, and tree bark. It also has a concave back and large ears that help in communication and regulating body temperature.

Point to note, the forest elephant’s forefoot has five toenails while the hindfoot has four.

7. Sri-Lankan elephant


It’s the darkest and largest Asian elephant and has patches of depigmentation. Its ears, face, belly, and trunk are the most affected, but the elephant stands tall and beautiful non the less.

A calf weighs approximately 100kg, which is equal to 220.46 pounds. Adults grow to about 11 feet (3.4m) tall and can weigh to about 12000 pounds (5400kg).

They live in zones in the east, north, and southeast. These elephants are hard workers, often doubling up to transport passengers, carry timber, and participate in public events like Buddha’s Tooth procession.

8. Cyprus dwarf elephant (Palaeoloxodon Cypriotes)


It’s an extinct species that lived and inhabited Cyprus and some other Mediterranean islands around 13000-11000 years BC. An adult weighed not more than 200 kg (440 lb.) and had a maximum height of around 1.4m.

Scientists are still debating if its extinction came because of the arrival of humans to that island. The remains of this species comprise 44 molars, a single femur and tusk, and very sparse bone fragments.

9. Sumatran elephant (Elephas Maximus Sumatrans)


It’s mainly found on Sumatra Island, but it’s the largest mammal on the island and a subspecies of the famous Asian elephant.

A newborn weighs less than 198 pounds (90 kgs) and grows to a shoulder height of about 2 to 3.2 meters, weighing slightly over 4000 to 8000 pounds (1800-3600 kg). In height, you’ll see them stand tall at 9 feet.

The Sumatran elephant is almost bald with small rounded ears, and females rarely have tasks.

10. Indian elephant


The Indian elephant is one of the Asian elephant subspecies. It has lighter skin than the Sri Lankan elephant but darker than the Sumatran.

The Indian Elephant has a shoulder height of 2 to 3.5m and weighs about 4000 to 5000 kg (8800-11000 lbs.)

Its females are smaller and have short tusks or luck tasks altogether. It has 19 pairs of ribs, and the biggest elephant is said to have been 3.43m or 11.3ft high at the shoulders. This species is endangered due to poaching, deforestation, persecution by human and habitat loss.

There you have it. That’s how much these majestic beasts weight. Next time you visit Asia or Africa, be sure to spot one of these elephants.

Originally posted on July 30, 2020 @ 11:07 am

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