The African Elephant is the largest living land animal -- the
the bull (male) reaching some 12 feet shoulder height and weighing over 5 tons.
Asian Elephants are smaller. A separate species (sometimes designated a subspecies) of African Elephant, the Forest Elephant
(Loxodonta cyclotis), is smaller still.
African Elephants have much larger ears than their Asian cousins, have less body hair and concave backs.
The ears are used as fans in the heat.
African Elephants range over much of the plains, bush and even desert of sub-Saharan Africa in fragmented populations
that continue to be at risk from habitat destruction and ivory poaching.
Both male and female adult African Elephants have tusks (unlike their Asian counterparts where only the males have).
African Elephants have two "fingers" at the end of their trunk compared to one for the Asian.
The versatile trunk can pick up delicate, small objects, water, sand or heavy logs.
Elephants live as long as humans, are highly intelligent and are well-known for having a good memory. Their diet is vegetarian.
Cows and young/juvenile elephants live in herds of related females led by an elder matriarch. Bulls are solitary or form small bachelor groups.