Elephants are one of the largest species of mammals. There are two types of species of elephants, including both the African and Asian elephant. As their name suggests, each type lives either in the plains and forests of Africa or Asia.
The male African elephant, called a bull elephant, is the largest known land dwelling animal. They reach an average height of 13 feet and weigh about 13,000 pounds. Elephants are known by their large, floppy ears and thick, sharp tusks made of a substance called ivory. Elephants use these tusks as tools for digging in mud, loosening greenery to eat and impressing their mates.
Elephants are also characterized by their long trunks. Elephants use their trunks as a sort of straw to push water into their mouths. The trunk also acts as an arm to eat with and elephants bathe themselves by sucking water into their nose and spewing it out on their backs. Elephants also have four, pillar-like legs to hold their immense weight.
Due to the valuable ivory of their tusks, Asian elephants are an endangered species, as of 2015. Hunters have hunted them to smaller numbers, and they continue to do so. African elephants are listed as a vulnerable species for the same reasons.