As the distinctive characteristics of the sub-order, and also of the single existing genus Elephas, are given in the article Proboscidea, it will suffice to point out how the two existing species are distinguished from one another.
The more specialized of the two species is the Indian or Asiatic elephant, Elephas maximus, specially characterized by the extreme complexity of the structure of its molar teeth, which are composed of a great number of tall and thin plates of enamel and dentine, with the intervals filled by cement (see Proboscidea, fig.
Asiatic Elephant (Elephas maximus).
- Immature African Elephant (Elephas africanus).
By their describers, the dwarf European elephants were regarded as distinct species, under the names of Elephas melitensis, E.
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