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African Savanna Elephant: Wikis


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African Savanna Elephant[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Genus: Loxodonta
Species: Loxodonta africana
Subspecies: L. africana oxyotis
Binomial name
Loxodonta africana oxyotis
Matschie, 1900

The African Plains Savanna Elephant or West African Steppe Elephant (Loxodonta africana oxyotis) is the largest of all the living elephants measuring 3.5 to 4 meters at the shoulder. The African plains elephant is easy to differentiate from other elephants, it has very large ears, four hooves at each front foot, and its front legs are noticeably longer than the hind legs. When elephants are excited about anything, they spread their ears and bring them in line with their forehead. In order to increase the effect of this threatening posture, ancient war elephants were occasionally deployed with their heads and ears painted red, white, or yellow.

In 69, a gigantic elephant was shot down near the Cuando River in South Africa. It measured 13 feet and 2 inches at the shoulder, weighed 13 tons, and each tusk measured 14 feet from base to tip. It is said that a mounted specimen of this huge tusker could be seen at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., US. Generally, most African elephants have long tusks weighing about 400 lbs. each. The tusks of old elephants are said to contain a kind of pearl known as 'gaja-muthu' and believed to be the most durable of pearls. Pearls are calcareous (chalky) substances that grow from lustrous globules or granules, and such concretions of nacre found with the tusks are highly priced for their beauty and quality.


Statistics: Shoulder height: 3,5 to 4 meters

Body length: 6,5 to 7,5 meters

Weight: about 7 tons

Typical features:

  • Flat forehead
  • Front legs noticeably longer than hind legs
  • Four hooves on each front foot, three on each hind foot
  • Very large ears
  • Two opposite fingers on the trunk
  • Females and males carry large tusks. In rare cases, males may have tusks up to 3.5 m long.
  • Skin is Slate blue gray and often colored pale brown by dirt and dust.


  1. ^ Shoshani, Jeheskel (November 16, 2005). Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds). ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd edition ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 91. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.  
  2. ^ African Elephant Specialist Group (2004). Loxodonta africana. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and a lengthy justification of why this species is vulnerable

See also

African Bush Elephant



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