Currently two subspecies
are recognized: the savanna (or bush) elephant (Loxodonta africana
africana), and the forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis),
but unfortunately there is still scientific discussion on this and it may
revert back to one species - time will tell.
Savanna elephants are larger than forest elephants, and their tusks curve outwards. In addition to being smaller, forest elephants are darker and their tusks are straighter and downward pointing. There are also differences in the size and shape of the skull and skeleton between the 2 subspecies.
The trunk, an extension of the upper lip and nose, is used for communication and handling objects including food. African elephants have 2 opposing extensions at its end, in contrast to the Asian elephant which only has one.
African elephants are bigger than Asian elephants Males stand 3.2–4.0 m tall at the shoulder and weigh 4,700–6,048 kg, while females stand 2.2–2.6 m tall and weigh 2,160–3,232 kg.
Elephants have four molars; each weighs about 5 kg and measures about 30 cm long. As the front pair wears down and drops out in pieces, the back pair shifts forward, and two new molars emerge in the back of the mouth. Elephants replace their teeth six times. At about 40 to 60 years of age, the elephant no longer has teeth and will likely die of starvation, a common cause of death.
Their tusks are teeth; the second set of incisors become the tusks. They are used for digging for roots and stripping the bark off trees for food, for fighting each other during mating season, and for defending themselves against predators. The tusks weigh from 23–45 kg (51–99 lb) and can be from 1.5–2.4 m (5–8 ft) long. Unlike Asian elephants, both male and female African elephants have tusks.
The other notable feature of this species are their very large ears which allow them to radiate excess heat.
For more information: WWF & Wikipedia