Elephas maximus asurus Deraniyagala, 1951

Syrian elephant, Assyrian elephant, Western Asiatic elephant



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: 100 BC or before (Choudhury et al., 2008)


IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Asia (Mesopotamia and Syria)


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Deraniyagala, P. E. P. (1951). Elephas maximus, the elephant of Ceylon, Part 2. Spolia Zeylanica, 26, 21-69, pp. 161-177.

Other references:

Albayrak, Ebru. (2019). The ancient Asian elephant of Turkey in the light of new specimens: Does it have regional features? Quaternary Science Reviews 218: 189-199. [Abstract]

Albayrak, Ebru, Flink, Linus Girdland and Lister, Adrian M. (2017). New Asian elephant specimens from Turkey and genetic insight into the Turkish population. VII International Conference of Mammoths and Their Relatives, 17-23 September, 2017, National Museum of natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan, 2 pp.

Albayrak, Ebru and Lister, Adrian M. (2012). Dental remains of fossil elephants from Turkey. Quaternary International 276-277: 198-211.

Choudhury, A., Lahiri Choudhury, D.K., Desai, A., Duckworth, J.W., Easa, P.S., Johnsingh, A.J.T., Fernando, P., Hedges, S., Gunawardena, M., Kurt, F., Karanth, U., Lister, A., Menon, V., Riddle, H., Rübel, A. & Wikramanayake, E. (IUCN SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group). (2008). Elephas maximus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. ( Downloaded on 31 July 2013.

Deraniyagala, P. E. P. (1955). Some Extinct Elephants, Their Relatives and the Two Living Species. Government Press, Ceylon. 161 pp.

Joger, U. and Garrido, G. (2001). Phylogenetic position of Elephas, Loxodonta and Mammuthus, based on molecular evidence, pp. 544-547. In: Cavarretta, C., Gioia, P., Mussi, M. and Palombo, M. R. (eds.). The World of Elephants – International Congress, Rome. Proceedings of the 1st international congress – Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche, Rome. [automatic download]

Khalaf, Norman Ali Bassam. (2020). The Extinct Syrian Elephant or Assyrian Elephant (Elephas maximus asurus Deraniyagala, 1950). Gazelle: The Palestinian Biological Bulletin 40(210): 1-49.


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