They are highly intelligent animals with complex emotions, feelings, compassion and self-awareness (elephants are one of very few species to recognize themselves in a mirror!). The gestation period of an elephant is 22 months. That's almost 2 years, the longest pregnancy of any mammal! Elephants are constantly eating. They communicate through vibrations.
Elephants help maintain forest and savanna ecosystems for other species and are integrally tied to rich biodiversity. Elephants are important ecosystem engineers. They make pathways in dense forested habitat that allow passage for other animals. Currently, international elephant conservation measures focus on controlling ivory stockpiles, establishing and strengthening the borders of protected reserves, anti-poaching patrols, and preventative methodologies to reduce human-elephant conflicts.
Asian elephant: 48 years, African bush elephant: 60 – 70 years, African forest elephant: 60 – 70 years
Asian elephant: 2.8 m, African bush elephant: 3.2 m
Asian elephant: 4,000 kg, African bush elephant: 6,000 kg, African forest elephant: 2,700 – 6,000 kg
Asian elephant: 5.5 – 6.5 m