Proboscidea is an order including only one extant family, Elephantidae or the elephants, with three species: the Savannah Elephant and Forest Elephant (which were collectively known as the African Elephant), and the Asian Elephant (formerly known as the Indian Elephant). During the period of the ice age there were more species, which are now extinct, including the elephant-like mammoth and mastodont and the "shovel tuskers", the platybelodon and amebelodon. The earliest known proboscidean is Pilgrimella, and after that Moeritherium.













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Elephants are the largest living land mammals. At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 100 kg (225 pounds). It takes 20 to 22 months for a baby elephant to mature to parturition, the longest gestation period of any land animal. An elephant may live as long as 60 to 70 years. The largest elephant ever recorded was a male shot in Angola in 1974, weighing 12 tonnes (13.5 short tons).

Images 1Through 3 Are Courtesy Of The US Fish and Wildlife Service
Images 3 Though 18 Are Courtesy of Scotch Macaskill






















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