Phuntar are elephants in the Iron Lyons universe. They also include mammoths, who are called Long-haired Phuntars.
In Iron LyonsEdit
Phunters are mentioned near the end of the book, Moyo recalling hearing of the Red Queens through a Matriarch and her herd. They are native to Afriik and around Endia, Uropa, and Shya. The Imperial lyons of Endian use them as mounts, according to Bambang.
Elephants are highly intelligent and social animals that travel in herds. There are two traditionally recognized subspecies: asian and african elephant, with the asian elephants being smaller in size. They are of the larger terrestrial animals on earth, along with their hairy cousins, the mammoth.
African elephants are the larger of the species, and frequent savannahs, marshes, and even deserts. They are shades of gray, with long ivory tusks, males possessing more impressive tusks than the females. Males also tend to be larger and heavier.
Though males are more physically impressive, they are generally lone animals. Females, excepting young males, make up the entirety of a herd. The eldest female usually leads and she is called the matriarch. Her daughters are high in rank with her, and when she dies, one of them takes over and leads the herd in her place. A herd generally has around ten closely related individuals. Once males reach puberty, they form coalitions with other males and leave their natal herd.
Shortly after reaching adulthood, in which they outweight and outgrow their female counterparts, males will enter periods of musth where aggression and desire will be elevated. This is all thanks to a boost in testosterone, which lets nearby females know that they are quality breeding partners. The mating ritual involves the gentle twining of the trunks before anything physical actually occurs. An elephant calf gestates for roughly 2 years.
Asian elephants are the smaller of the subspecies, males only reaching about a female african elephant's height at the shoulder (9 feet), the females themselves being a foot shorter, as the sexual diphormism among them isn't so great. Asian elephants are light shades of grey, with smaller ears and curvier, thinner tusks. They are grazers, instead of browsers.
Female Asian elephants usually lack tusks entirely or have them so short they are barely noticeable. Some males lack tusks are well, this variation seen around Sri Lank in particular. Any asian elephant with tusks, since they lack them a fair bit of the time, are called "tuskers". Though generally not as violent as the african elephant, asian elephants can get just as aggressive, the males in particular.
Bulls fight over females, though it's rare these fights get harsh.
Asian elephants are more graceful and faster on their feet, as well as agile. Like the african elephant they are highly intelligent and self-aware. Asian elephants inhabit grasslands, evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, moist and dry deciduous forests and dry thorn forests, in addition to cultivated and secondary forests and scrublands.
The Indian, Sumatran, and Sri Lankan elephant are all subspecies of the Asian Elephant.
Mammoths were massive land animals, weighing up to 8 tons, the largest of them standing 13 feet at the shoulder, almost equalling the late Tyrannosaurus-rex in height. However, most were no bigger than modern day asian elephants in height. Both sexes commonly bore tusks, a starter set for the first year and few months of their lives that would later be replaced by their final, permanent set.
Their gestation period is estimated to have been 22 months, a bit longer than 18 months, the average for an elephant. Mammoths have a lot of fat and it allowed them to thrive in the cold climes they lived in by storm nutrients and insulating them.
Mammoths were grazing animals.