African elephants are the elephants of the genus Loxodonta (Greek for 'oblique-sided tooth’) consisting of two extant species: the African bush elephant and the smaller African forest elephant. Loxodonta is one of the two existing genera in the family Elephantidae. One of the species of African elephant, the bush elephant, is the largest living terrestrial animal, while the forest elephant is the third largest. Their thickset bodies rest on stocky legs, and they have concave backs. Their large ears enable heat loss. The upper lip and nose form a trunk. The trunk acts as a fifth limb, a sound amplifier and an important method of touch. African elephants' trunks end in two opposing lips, whereas the Asian elephant trunk ends in a single lip. In L. africana, males stand 3.2–4.0 m (10–13 ft) tall at the shoulder and weigh 4,700–6,048 kg (10,360–13,330 lb), while females stand 2.2–2.6 m (7–9 ft) tall and weigh 2,160–3,232 kg (4,762–7,125 lb); The largest recorded individual stood four meters (13.1 ft) to the shoulders and weighed 10 tons (10 long tons; 11 short tons). African elephants can be found in Eastern, Southern and West Africa, either in dense forests, mopane and miombo woodlands, Sahelian scrub or deserts.
African elephants are highly intelligent, and they have a very large and highly convoluted neocortex, a trait also shared by humans, apes and certain dolphin species. They are amongst the world's most intelligent species. With a mass of just over 5 kg (11 lb), elephant brains are larger than those of any other land animal, and although the largest whales have body masses twenty-fold those of a typical elephant, whale brains are barely twice the mass of an elephant's brain. The elephant's brain is similar to that of humans in terms of structure and complexity - such as the elephant's cortex having as many neurons as a human brain, suggesting convergent evolution.