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I have had the amazing experience of having a huge elephant bigger than our car walk so close that if I had wanted to (and been foolish enough) I could have reached out and stroked his trunk. He was so big that even when standing up on the seats of our vehicle he was taller. I have also had the pleasure of visiting a baby elephant orphan preserve in Nairobi and have witnessed elephant babies at play with their mom. Needless to say elephants are one of my favorite animals in Africa.

Elephant Family

Elephant Family

And while I was taught to see the difference between African Elephants and their Asian counterparts (African elephants are bigger, have more wrinkled skin, larger ears and both the males and females have tusks) what has recently been discovered is that there are 2 varieties of African elephants. According to a recent article, basic biology textbooks are now going to have to be re-written.

Scientists have found a genetic difference between savannah dwelling elephants and their mountain dwelling cousins. The savanna or bush elephants weigh twice as much as their mountain cousins, have different body shapes and stand about 3 feet taller.

Now I have I new thing to look for the next time I go on Safari!