The African forest (pygmy) elephant, a forest-dwelling elephant of the Congo Basin. Traditionally considered to be a subspecies of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis), a 2010 paper supports it being a distinct species (Loxodonta cyclotis). This would make it the smallest of the three extant species of elephant, but also the third-largest living terrestrial animal. Differences include the African forest elephant’s long, narrow mandible (the African bush elephant’s is short and wide), its rounded ears (an African bush elephant’s ears are more pointed), straighter and downward tusks, considerably smaller size, and number of toenails. The male African forest elephant rarely exceeds 2.5 m (8 ft) in height, while the African bush elephant is usually over 3 m (just under 10 ft) and sometimes almost 4 m (13 ft) tall. Weight is reportedly around tonnes (5,950 lb), with the largest specimens attaining 6 tonnes (13,230 lb). With regard to the number of toenails, the African bush elephant normally has four toenails on the forefoot and three on the hindfoot; the African forest elephant normally has five toenails on the forefoot and four on the hindfoot (like the Asian elephant), but hybrids between the two species occur. Lekoli river Odzala-Kokoua National Park, Mboko concession, Department of Cuvette-Quest, Republic of Congo.
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