African elephants have the largest ears of any creature on Earth. The wide surface area and thin skin of elephant ears radiate heat to help the animal stay cool and comfortable. African elephants can control their ears and flap them at will.
Indian elephants have large ears, too, but not as large as the ears of the African elephant. One way to tell the difference between African and Indian elephants is the shape of the ear. African elephants' ears are shaped like the continent of Africa.
There are two subspecies of African elephant: the savanna, or bush elephant, and the forest elephant. Savanna elephants are somewhat larger than forest elephants and have tusks that curve outward. Both subspecies inhabit areas of South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia and other parts of the African continent. All elephants are vegetarian.