Elephants are large land mammals in two extant genera of the family Elephantidae: Elephas and Loxodonta, with the third genus Mammuthus extinct. Three species of elephant are generally recognized today: the African bush elephant, the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant (also known as the Indian elephant).
However, some researchers postulate the existence of a fourth species of elephant in West Africa. All other species and genera of Elephantidae are extinct. Most have been extinct since the last ice age, although dwarf forms of mammoths might have survived as late as 2,000 BCE. Elephants and other Elephantidae were once classified with other thick-skinned animals in a now invalid order, Pachydermata.
Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth today.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Wildlife in Africa
Photo: Pilanesberg, South Africa.
Pilanesberg is situated in the Bojanala Region of the North West Province, adjacent to Sun City – just 2 hours away from Johannesburg or Pretoria. An abundance of wild life proliferate in some 580km² of diverse and arresting bushveld terrain. Pilanesberg accommodates virtually every mammal of southern Africa and is also home to healthy populations of lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo – Africa’s Big Five.