If you didn’t know already, when the word ‘elephant’ is said, we are actually referring to several different species. Until 2010, only 2 species of elephant were scientifically recognised. However, genetic testing has revealed that there are at least 3 species. These are the Asian elephant alphas maximus, the African bush elephant loxodonta Africana (also called the savannah elephant), and the African forest elephant loxodonta cyclones. The Asian elephant is the smallest, and has small ears and tusks. They have two prominent bumps on their foreheads. They hold their heads more erect than both African elephants, have no protruding upper lip, and have a single short finger-like lip at the end of their trunk which they use for fine manipulation of objects. Both African elephants have larger ears, although the forest elephant has much rounder ears, are less hairy, have larger tusks, rounded foreheads, and have two finger-like lips on their trunks. The forest elephant has relatively straight, downward-pointing tusks whilst the bush elephant has magnificently curved ones. Most elephants are crepuscular, meaning that they are most active during dawn and evening, although this varies due to local climate. Unfortunately, all elephant species are endangered.
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