Characterized by their long trunks and large ears, elephants are the largest land-living mammals in the world. There are two types of elephants: African and Asian elephants. Elephants have no natural predators; human development and poachers present the largest threats to the elephant population.
African elephant males can weigh as much as a school bus, and their trunks can grow to be 7 feet long. Elephants use their trunks to smell and also to pull in water, which they squirt into their mouths or onto their backs to keep cool. Both the male and female have large tusks that they use to dig for food and lift objects from the ground. Poachers most often hunt elephants for their tusks.
Elephants are social creatures that move together in herds. They use their trunks to help pull baby elephants to their feet and rescue other elephants if they get stuck in the mud. Elephants also use their trunks as snorkels when they are traveling through water.
There are some differences between African and Asian elephants that help zoologists tell them apart. African elephants have two "fingers" at the end of their trunks while Asian elephants only have one. African elephants have the larger ears of the two and have a sway in their backs, while Asian elephants have rounded backs.