The Largest Elephant Ever Recorded
Largest elephant are the largest land animals alive today. Apart from their massive size their most striking features are a long trunk, or proboscis, a flexible nose strong enough to lift objects, their huge ivory tusks, and their large flapping ears, used to keep them cool. Elephants are three species of large land mammals belonging to the family Elephantidae – the only extant family belonging to the order Proboscidea.
The three elephant species currently recognized by scientists are the African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana), the African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), and the Asian, or Indian, Elephant (Elephas maximus). Centuries of hunting elephants for their ivory has reduced the population of these animals. Renewed efforts at stewardship have caused a population boom, with the number of elephants in Africa alone tripling in the last decade.
Elephants’ gestation period, at 22 months, is the longest of any land mammal. At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 120 kg (265 lb). An elephant may live as long as 70 years, sometimes longer. The largest elephant ever recorded (the Fenykovi elephant, now in the Smithsonian Institution) was shot in Angola in 1955. The Height of this largest elephant from ground to withers, 13 feet 2 inches. (Thaw’s elephant: 12 feet 2 inches.). Length From trunk tip to tail tip in straight line, 27 feet 6 inches; whole skin from trunk tip to tail tip, 33 feet 2 inches. Length of feet Front, 2 feet; rear, 2 feet 1 inches.
Thaw’s elephant: one foot 9 inches, which foot not specified. Circumference of feet Front, 5 feet 7 inches; rear 5 feet 2 inches. Circumference of body At widest point, 19 feet 8 inches. Almost half a century back, in 1954, in the remotes and dense jungles of Angola, Jose (Joseph) Fenykovi first saw the track of largest elephant.