A New Species of Elephant identified

  • A recent genetic analysis, published in the National Academy of Sciences, has shown that  African elephants actually represent two distinct species rather than one. It means, today world has three modern elephant species; two African (African savanna and the forest elephant) and one Asian elephant. 
  • According to the new research, the two major types of African elephants are about as genetically distinct from each other as the Asian elephant is from the extinct woolly mammoth.
  • The forest and savanna elephants have been classified as subspecies of the same species. But many distinctions have been emerged.
  • The forest elephants live in family groups of just a few animals, whereas savanna elephant family groups number about ten and often congregate in groups of 70 or so.
  • The African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) has evolved to be about twice as big as the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis).
  • The savanna elephant tips the scales at up to 7 tons and stands a full meter (3.3 feet) taller at the shoulder than the African forest elephant. 

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