African Bush Elephant (Calf)

African-Elephant-Calf--Loxodonta-Africana-copia

African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta Africana)

The African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African forest elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as theAfrican elephant, but recent evidence has seen the forest elephant classified as a distinct species (although this status is not conclusively accepted due to a gradual reduction in elephant size between savanna and forest environments). Some authorities still consider the currently available evidence as insufficient for splitting African elephants into two species.[3]

African bush elephants are the largest living terrestrial animals, being up to 3.96 m (13.0 ft) tall at the shoulders (a male shot in 1974).[4][5] On average, males are 3.3 metres (10.8 ft) tall at the shoulders and 5.5 tonnes (12,130 lb) in weight, while females are much smaller at 2.8 metres (9.2 ft) tall and 3.7 tonnes (8,160 lb) in weight. [6] The most characteristic features of African elephants are their very large ears, which they use to radiate excess heat,[7] and their trunk, an extension of the upper lip and nose with two opposing extensions at its end, different from the Asian elephant, which only has one. The trunk is used for communication and handling objects and food. African elephants also have bigger tusks, large modified incisors that grow throughout an elephant’s lifetime. They occur in both males and females and are used in fights and for marking, feeding, and digging.[7]

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