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.
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.
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.
A baby elephant is called a calf. The male is called a bull, and the female is called a cow. A group of elephants is usually called a herd. Elephants have one of the most intricate social structures of any species on Earth.
The body parts of an elephant include the trunk, tusks, teeth, ears, legs, skin and a tail. In common with all vertebrates, they also have skeletons and internal organs. Elephants also have a brain that is four times the size of a human brain, making it the largest brain of any known land animal.
A group of elephants is called a herd or a parade. The phrase "herd of elephants" is more commonly used than the more fanciful phrase "a parade of elephants."
Elephant seals, or sea elephants, are large mammals so named because the adult males' large proboscises, or noses, closely resemble the trunks of elephants. These ocean-going carnivores are the largest species of seal, averaging from 9 to 16 feet in length.
An elephant is pregnant for up to two years before giving birth, the longest gestation period of any mammal. Elephants are the largest living and largest-brained land animal in the world, and a long development is needed for elephants in the womb.
The two species of elephants are the African species and the Asian species. African elephants are further divided into two subspecies: forest and savanna. There are four subspecies of Asian elephants: Sri Lankan, mainland, Borneo and Sumatran.