African Elephant Vs. Sumatran Rhinoceros

Are you curious how two of the largest land animals on earth differ in their characteristics and behavior?

The African Elephant is called a Loxodonta africana. The Sumatran Rhino is called a Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

Scientific Name

African elephants inhabit savannas, forests and grasslands in 37 countries in Africa. Sumatran rhinoceroses are considerably rarer, with a population of fewer than 80 individuals living in fragmented forest habitats in Indonesia and Malaysia.


The African Elephant is around 4 meters tall and weights up to 6,000 kg.    The Sumatran Rhino is around 1.5m tall and weights 1000 kg.

Size and Weight

The African elephant is characterized by its long trunk, 2 large tusks, large ears, and gray, wrinkled skin. On the other hand, the Sumatran rhino has a relatively small head, a single horn, and a tough, scaly hide.

Physical Features

They are both Herbivores. African elephants feed on grass, leaves, flowers, fruits, and bark. They have a daily intake of approximately 300 pounds of vegetation! Sumatran rhinoceroses are browsers and feed on a variety of vegetation, such as leaves, twigs, and fruits. They consume an average of 50-60 pounds of food per day.


Elephants use their trunks to grasp and uproot grass and move it to their mouths, while rhinos use their upper lips to grasp vegetation and their lower incisors to shear off the leaves.

Eating habits

African elephants live in matriarchal family groups of up to 100 individuals, led by the oldest and most experienced female. Sumatran rhinos are solitary creatures and only come together for breeding purposes.

Behavior And Social Interaction

One of the primary threats to the African elephant is habitat loss due to human activity, such as agricultural expansion. The elephant is also hunted for their ivory tusks. The Sumatran rhinoceros is also impacted by habitat destruction caused by human encroachment and logging.


Conservation efforts to protect these species include safeguarding their habitats, monitoring their populations, and implementing laws to combat poaching and illegal trade.

Conservation efforts

African Elephants and Sumatran Rhinoceroses are two of the largest land animals that live on earth and understandably have quite different characteristics and behavior. African Elephants are distinguished by their larger ears and tusks, while Sumatran Rhinoceroses have distinctly furry bodies.

Wrapping Up

Learn more about these interesting land animals!

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