Several local races of African elephant have been described, mainly distinguished from one another by the form and size of the ears, shape of the head, etc.
The great interest in connexion with a dwarf West African race of elephant is in relation to the fossil pigmy elephants of the limestone fissures and caves of Malta and Cyprus.
In this connexion it is of interest to note that, both in the Mediterranean islands and in West Africa, dwarf elephants of the African type are accompanied by pigmy species of hippopotamus, although we have not yet evidence to show that in Africa the two animals occupy actually the same area.
Still, the close relationship of the existing Liberian pigmy hippopotamus to the fossil Mediterranean species is significant, in relation to the foregoing observations on the elephant.
But there are also species, though not Passerine, which are absolutely identical with those of Britain, the barn owl, common quail, pigmy rail, and little grebe or dabchick, all of them common and apparently resident in the island.