IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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One of the most emotive of the megafauna and the largest living terrestrial animal, African savanna elephants inspire awe at their sheer size; the largest recorded individual reached a massive four metres at the shoulder and weighed ten tonnes (2). The thickset body rests on stocky legs and the back has a characteristically concave shape (2). African elephants have large ears to enable heat loss (6). Their upper lip and nose is elongated into a trunk that serves multiple functions, from a dextrous fifth limb to a sound producer and amplifier, and an important method of touch between individuals (2). The African elephant trunk ends in two opposing processes (or lips), which differs from that of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), whose trunk ends in a single process (7). A further characteristic feature are the elephant's tusks, which are large modified upper incisors that continue to grow throughout their lifetime; in both sexes of the African elephant these are curved forward (7).


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Source: ARKive


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