The African elephant is the largest land animal. It is also the largest proboscid. African elephants can weigh 4 to 7 tons and can be 13 to 16 feet long.
African elephants are characterized by their long curved tusks, large ears and dexterous trunk. Both female and male elephants have tusks. The tusks are present at birth, but they fall out after a year and are replaced by permanent ones. The tusks grow throughout the elephant's life. African elephants use their tusks for foraging, digging and fighting. The ears of the African elephant help radiate excess heat under the sun, communicate visually and help the elephant hear sounds over long distances. The trunk is a combination of the elephant's upper lip and nose. It is used for smelling, breathing, grabbing objects and sucking up water.