The mighty elephant is both beautiful and functional in design. Assuming that this level of development was as a result of evolution (versus creation), it is thought that the first elephant ancestors began their trek through the evolutionary cycle 60 million years ago. It was at this time that Condylartha (herbivorous mammals) evolved into Ungulata (the Latin word for “provided with hooves”).
African elephants have large ears, shaped much like the continent of Africa itself.
The larger surface area of their ears helps to keep African elephants cool in the blazing African sun. Asian elephants have less to worry about heat-wise, as they tend to live in cool jungle areas, so their ears are smaller.
Asian and African elephants have very distinct head shapes. African elephants have fuller, more rounded heads, and the top of their head is a single dome. Asian elephants have a twin domed head with an indent in the middle.
An elephant calf nurses with its mouth (not its trunk) just behind its mothers front legs. It nurses very often throughout the day and it is entirely dependent on its mother for all of its nourishment for the first year of its life. After that, it gradually begins to nibble on plants and tapers off its nursing. Complete weaning usually occurs by the age of two or three.