Elephant plush toys are terrific stuffed animals for children of all ages. They are especially popular because they are so easily recognized. You would be hard pressed to find a child that has not seen an elephant at the zoo at least one time in their life. As a result, it's likely a stuffed elephant plush toy was a purchase made not long after seeing the real thing for the first time.
Of all the land mammals on earth, African elephants are the largest of the two species weighing up to 14,000 pounds. At birth, babies weight more than 200 pounds! To tell the difference between the two [species], look no further than their ears; an African elephants ears are the larger of the two and are shaped somewhat like the map of Africa. In contrast, an Asian elephants ears are smaller and rounder. Besides their ears, an elephants trunk is one of the body parts that makes elephants so easily recognized. It contains 100,000 different muscles which they use for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, grabbing things, and drinking. At the end of the African elephants trunk, are two fingerlike features (an Asian elephant only has one of these) that they use to grab things with. While some elephant plush toys are large enough to practically ride on, their trunks do not have the ability to pick anything up. That does not, however, make an elephant plush toy any less entertaining, especially one purchased not only with great stature and bulk, but also with sound. A two foot large elephant plush toy, for example, that comes with elephant sounds, really makes it come to life.
In addition to an elephants trunk, their ears also serve various purposes including controlling their body temperature. An elephant will flap their ears on hot days which helps to circulate blood through their veins. When the blood returns to their head it is about 9 degrees Fahrenheit cooler. When alarmed or angry, they also use their ears to signal or warn how they are feeling by fully spreading and bringing them forward so they are fully extended.
Like so many animals in the world, African elephants are yet another threatened species. Their highly prized tusks, which they use to dig for food and water and to strip bark from trees, are sold on the black market which means elephants are killed to obtain them. While trade of ivory today is illegal, that has not stopped these magnificent creatures from continuing to be be killed anyway.