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Of the three species of elephants, the African Forest elephant is the rarest, as well as the most recently discovered. African Bush elephants are the largest, and can grow up to 24 feet tall. Bush elephants also have a distinct difference between the length of their front and back legs. There are 3 to 4 subspecies of African elephants based on the region in which they live. Female African elephants cannot grow tusks, but instead have a small tush that does not protrude more than 2 inches from the lip line.
Elephants eat grasses, leaves, fruits, and roots, depending on where they live. Asian elephants prefer monocot plants, palms, bamboo, and grasses. African Bush elephants prefer to uproot young tree saplings and consume them, often leaving the land behind them stripped and barren. The average elephant consumes 25 to 50 gallons of water a day. In times of drought, an elephant may dig its truck into the ground in the search of fresh water. They can eat as much as 300 pounds of food a day.