African Elephant (Loxodonta sp.) - Wiki
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[Photo] An African Bush Elephant Loxodonta africana in Paignton Zoo, Devon, England. Taken by Adrian Pingstone in July 2003 and placed in the public domain.
African elephants are the two species of elephants in the Loxodonta genus, one of the two existing genera in Elephantidae. Although it is commonly believed that the genus was named by Georges Cuvier in 1825, Cuvier spelled it Loxodonte. An anonymous author romanized the spelling to Loxodonta and the ICZN recognizes this as the proper authority.
Fossils from Loxodonta have only been found in Africa, where they developed in the middle Pliocene.
- Loxodonta adaurora, extinct, developed into the modern African elephant.
- African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana).
- African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis).
Poaching significantly reduced the population of Loxodonta in certain regions during the 20th century. An example of this poaching pressure is in the eastern region of Chad. Elephant herds were substantial in number as recently as 1970 with an estimated population of 300,000; however, by 2006 the number has dwindled to about 10,000. The African elephant nominally has governmental protection, but poaching is still a serious issue.
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