Growth in shoulder height

The von Bertalanffy function for elephants of all ages does not give a good fit for very young elephants. For ages 0-2 years, a simple linear regression gives an adequate fit for male and female elephants, while for older elephants, the von Bertalanffy functions are more appropriate.

Males (0-2 years): Ht = 92.35 + 27.68t cm Females (0-2 years): Ht = 92.06 + 27.16t cm Females (3-60 years): Ht = 256[1 - exp (-0.133(t + 3.58))] cm Captive males (0-15 years): Ht = 236[1 - exp (-0.182(t + 4.82))] cm Captive males (15-60 years): Ht = 259[1 - exp (-0.124(t + 2.84))] cm Captive females (0-15 years): Ht = 215[1 - exp (—0.133(t + 3.58))] cm Captive females (3-70 years): Ht = 232[1 - exp (-0.140(t + 3.85))] cm Captive females (15-70 years): Ht = 232[1 - exp (-0.266(t - 6.13))] cm Wild elephants: The above functions were fitted to data for elephants born in captivity or captured from the wild at a relatively young age (younger than 8 years for males and younger than 10 years for females). Data from elephants captured after these ages and attaining maximum heights plus estimates of heights of wild elephants using field techniques suggest higher asymptotic heights (274 cm for males and 240 cm for females). Although specific von Bertalanffy functions could not be generated for wild elephants, these could be fitted by eye or by substituting the higher H values in the functions derived for captive elephants.

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