Elephants are animals of intrigue because of the huge size of elephants. Elephants have been around for centuries and are present all over the world.
Many people just like to see elephants whereas there are some who are still wanting to hunt these endangered animals.
Due to the indiscriminate hunting of elephants, elephants are now present in a very limited number and have been listed as endangered animals.
Most of the hunting of the elephants is done due to the tusks of the elephants. If you look into greater detail you would find out that some of the elephants are having tusks whereas some others are not. This brings us to the question which type of elephants have tusks and which do not.
The common myth is that female elephants do not have tusks but this is not entirely true. We have researched a lot in order to find out the answer to the question do female elephants have tusks? And have explained our answer below.
Do female elephants have tusks?
You need to 1st understand that there are couple of different specie of elephants and therefore when you’re speaking about elephants it is important to understand which species are you talking about because the physical characteristics of different species of elephants are different. One specie is the Asian elephants and the other specie is the African elephants.
If you look at the normal physical appearance of both of these species like the size of the specie and the size of the ears as well as the height of the specie, you would find that there is no great difference between both of these species.
There is however, one peculiar difference between both of these species. If you look into the specie of African elephants, you would notice that both the male elephants as well as the female elephants have tusks but when you look into the Asian elephants, you would realize that only the male elephants have proper tusks whereas when you’re speaking about the female elephants, you would realize that the tusks are very small or are entirely absent.
What is the difference between the tusk of male and female elephant?
As we mentioned above, in the African elephants, the females also have the tusk but if you closely examine the tusk you would realize that the tusk of the female elephants is actually shorter as compared to the male elephants and also if you compare the thickness of the tusk then you would realize that the thickness is also less. This difference can only be found out if you are looking closely and if you’re knowledgeable about the size of the tusk. To a normal person, there is no difference between the tusk of male African elephant and a female African elephant.
Now if you look into the details of the tusk of the female Asian elephants, you would realize that in majority of the cases they are entirely absent or in on some of the rare cases where they are actually present the size is very much more small and this is easily noticeable by a normal person as well.
What is the size of the tusk of male and female African elephants?
As we mentioned above, the size of the tusk for the African male and female elephant can also mimic each other and be almost the same. If you look into the growth rate of the size of the tusk, it would be up to 20 cm per year and therefore it can easily reach up to a length of 3 m and if you look into the weight of the tusk then it can reach up to 90kg for a normal male. If you look into the female tusk characteristics of the African female elephant, you would realize that they are almost similar in the weight as well as the length and the growth rate as well.
Now if you speak about the difference between the tusk size of the male Asian elephant and the female Asian elephant, you would realize that the length of the female Asian elephant tusk is only 1/10th of the male Asian elephant tusk. That is why, the difference between the tusk size and the tusk characteristics of the male and female Asian elephants is easily noticeable even to a common man.
What is the usage of tusk?
You might be thinking that since some of the elephants have tusks and some of the other elephants do not have tusks, what is the actual usage of tusk? If you look into the primary purpose of tusk you would realize that it is for the purpose of eating and it is used as the incision in the body of the victim. The tusk which you see outside the mouth of the elephant only the upper two tusks whereas the lower 2 tusks are always inside the mouth of the elephant.
The elephant also uses the tusk for digging or for moving any tree or as a weapon to scare its enemies.
The substance from which these tusks are made is known as calcium phosphate. This is found in rocks as well but it is more harder in rocks as compared to in tusks of the elephants where it is constantly growing.
Growth of the tusk:
If you’re looking to the growth of tusk in the female elephants you would realize that it is for the replacement of the milk teeth. Once the tusk starts appearing, it constantly grows. The size of the tusk is large enough after about a couple of years of growth to protrude out of the mouth. After that, it is constantly grows as well.
Over time, the outer layer of the tusk wears out and falls apart giving way to the the inner part of the tusk which is known as ivory.
Due to this ivory, there is a large scale hunting of the elephants because it can be used in various applications ranging from medicines all the way to the jewelry options. Since elephants have been listed as endangered species, the use of ivory and the trade of ivory is prohibited as well but the illegal trade has been flourishing.
The tusk of the elephant is directly connected to an nerve of of the body and therefore the only way to remove the tusk of the elephant is to kill the elephant.
The size of both the tusks of the same elephant are generally not the same because generally the elephant either uses the left tusk more or the right tusk more depending on whether the elephant is right-handed or left-handed, in our human analogy.
So, whether the elephant contains tusk or not depends on the specie of the elephant and the gender of the elephant because in African elephants both the male and female contain tusks whereas in the Asian elephants only the male content tusks and if at all the female contains tusks then it is very short as compared to the males.