African elephant

African elephants
Temporal range: Middle Pliocene-Present
African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) male (17289351322).jpg
African bush elephant bull in Kruger National Park
African forest elephant in Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Family: Elephantidae
Subfamily: Elephantinae
Genus: Loxodonta
Anonymous, 1827[1]
Type species
Elephas africana [1]
Blumenbach, 1797
L. a. adaurora
L. a. kararae
L. a. angammensis
L. a. atlantica
African Elephant distribution map without borders.svg
Distribution of living Loxodonta (2007)

African elephants (Loxodonta) are a genus comprising two living elephant species, the African bush elephant (L. africana) and the smaller African forest elephant (L. cyclotis). Both are social herbivores with grey skin, but differ in the size and colour of their tusks and in the shape and size of their ears and skulls.

Both species are considered at heavy risk of extinction on the IUCN Red List; as of 2021, the bush elephant is considered endangered and the forest elephant is considered critically endangered. They are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and poaching for the illegal ivory trade is a threat in several range countries as well.

Loxodonta is one of two extant genera of the family Elephantidae. The name refers to the lozenge-shaped enamel of their molar teeth. Fossil remains of Loxodonta species have been excavated in Africa, dating to the Middle Pliocene.

  1. ^ a b Shoshani, J. (2005). "Genus Loxodonta". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.

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