The African Elephant
African elephants are distinguished from Asian elephants in several ways, the most noticeable being their much larger ears. Also, the African elephant is typically larger than the Asian elephant and has a concave back. In Asian elephants, only males have tusks, but both males and females of African elephants have tusks and are usually less hairy than their Asian cousins. African elephants have traditionally been classified as a single species comprising two distinct subspecies, namely the savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) and the forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis). Loxodonta africana refers specifically to the savanna elephant, the largest of all elephants. It is the largest land animal, with males standing 10 feet (3.2 metres) to 13 feet (4 metres) at the shoulder and weighing 7,7000 pounds (3,500 kilograms) up to a reported 26,000 pounds(12,000 kilograms). The female is smaller, standing about 9.8 feet (3 metres) at the shoulder. Most often, savanna elephants are found in open grasslands, marshes, and lakeshores. They range over much of the savanna zone south of the Sahara. The forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), is usually smaller and rounder, and its tusks thinner and straighter compared with the savanna elephant. The forest elephant can weigh up to 9,900 pounds (4,500 kilograms) and stand about 10 feet (3 metres) tall. Much less is known about these animals than their savanna cousins, because environmental and political obstacles make them difficult to study. Normally, they inhabit the dense African rain forests of central and western Africa, although occasionally they roam the edges of forests, thus overlapping the savanna elephant home ranges and hybridizing.
50 to 60 years generally.
Making a recovery since more efforts to protect them and their ivory were made.