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African Elephant herd, Amboseli National Park, Kenya
African Elephants are scattered throughout sub-Saharan Africa. They are the largest living terrestrial animals, male African elephants can reach a height of 4 m and weigh 7,000 kg. These animals have several distinctive features, including a long proboscis or trunk used for many purposes, particularly for grasping objects. Their incisors grow into tusks, which serve as tools for moving objects and digging and as weapons for fighting. The elephant's large ear flaps help to control the temperature of its body. African elephants have larger ears and concave backs while Asian elephants have smaller ears and convex or level backs. Elephants are herbivorous and can be found in different habitats including savannahs, forests, deserts and marshes. They prefer to stay near water. They are considered to be keystone species due to their impact on their environments. The African elephant is facing the greatest crisis in decades. Reports of mass elephant killings in the media vividly illustrate the situation across many African elephant range States. Read "Elephants in the Dust" (see link below)!