illustration of a charging african elephant

- Image ID: B74Y6P
markku murto/art / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID : B74Y6P
The African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African Forest Elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African Elephant. Some authorities still consider the currently available evidence insufficient for splitting the African Elephant into two species. It is also known as the Bush Elephant or Savanna Elephant. The African Bush Elephant is the largest living land-dwelling animal, normally reaching 6 to 7.3 meters (19.7 to 24.0 feet) in length and 3 to 3.5 meters (9.8 to 11.5 feet) in height at the shoulder, and weighing between 6,000 and 9,000 kg (13,228-19,843 lb). The largest on record, shot in Angola in 1955, was a bull weighing 12,274 kg (27,060 lb) and standing 4.2 meters (13.8 ft) high, the body of which is now mounted in the rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The Bush Elephant normally moves at a rate of 6 km/h (4 mph), but it can reach a top speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) when scared or upset. The animal is characterized by its large head; two large ears that cover its shoulders and radiate excess heat; a large and muscular trunk; two prominent tusks, which are well-developed in both sexes, although more commonly in males; a short neck; a large, barrel-like body; four long and heavy legs; and a relatively short tail.