Name: The African Bush Elephant Height: Males are 3.2 metres (10.5 ft) tall and Females are much smaller at 2.6 metres (8.5 ft) tall Weight: On average males are 6 tonnes and females are 3 tonnes Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Proboscidea Family: Elephantidae Genus: Loxodonta Species: L. africana
The African Bush Elephant is the largest living terrestrial (land) animal, with males reaching 6 to 7.5 metres (19.7 to 24.6 ft) in length, 3.3 metres (10.8 ft) in height at the shoulder, and weighing 6 t (13,000 lb). Females are much smaller, reaching 5.4 to 6.9 metres (17.7 to 22.6 ft) in length, 2.7 metres (8.9 ft) in height at the shoulder, and weighing 3 t (6,600 lb). The adult African bush elephant generally has no natural predators due to its great size, but the calves (especially the newborn) are vulnerable to lion and crocodile attacks, and (rarely) to leopard and hyena attacks. A 2010 genetic study confirmed the African bush elephant and the African forest elephant are distinct species. By sequencing DNA of 375 nuclear genes, scientists determined the two species diverged around the same time as the Asian elephant and the woolly mammoth, and are as distinct from one another as those two species are from each other. As of December 2010, conservation organizations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), had not distinguished between the two species of African elephants for purposes of assessing their conservation status. As of March 2010, the IUCN Red List classified African elephants as a whole as vulnerable species and the Central African elephant population (forest elephants) as Endangered.