The size of an elephant depends on the elephant's age, gender and type; the largest elephant was an adult male African elephant who weighed approximately 24,000 pounds and stood 13 feet tall at the shoulder. Most African elephants stand from 8.2 to 13 feet tall at the shoulder.
Depending on the species, elephants are found naturally in Africa and Asia. African elephants are found in most parts of Africa, while Asian elephants are mostly found in the tropical forests in Asia, such as in India, Thailand and Indonesia.
As of July 2014, there are between 450,000 and 700,000 African elephants in the world, and between 35,000 and 40,000 Asian elephants, according to Defenders of Wildlife. Both species are threatened not only by habitat loss, but also by poaching for the illegal ivory trade.
There are two species of elephants: the Asian elephant, which lives in south and southeast Asia, and the African elephant, which lives in sub-Saharan Africa. The can be found living in the tropical forests, woodlands and savannahs of these regions.
When elephants walk, each of their legs functions independently, according to John Hutchinson of London's Royal Veterinary College. Elephants position their legs directly under their bodies to support their extreme weight.
Dubbed the "Elephant Man," Joseph Merrick was a British man who was subjected to public ridicule and cruelty because of his extreme physical deformity, reports Biography. As a young adult, he worked as a street performer in a "freak show," where he was discovered by surgeon Frederick Treves.
Elephants lack natural predators in nature, largely as a result of their size. They are too big for most would-be predators to take down safely and eat. Humans are the primary predator of elephants, as people still hunt elephants for their ivory, meat and bones.
According to the Oxford Dictionaries, a "white elephant" is a possession that is expensive and hard to maintain but also difficult to get rid of. For example, it may be used in reference to a house or car that requires a lot of upkeep and cannot be sold because no potential buyers can be found.
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.
According to the Smithsonian Institution, African elephants are the biggest land mammals in the world. Contrary to popular belief, wild and captive elephants do not eat peanuts. Elephants protect their skin from sunburn and insects by dusting their bodies with sand. Female elephants live in groups o