Steppe Elephant

The steppe elephant, Elaphas latifrons, is the second largest land mammal in the Neocene. Its size is exeeded only by a subspecies of the woolly mammoth, known as the imperial mammoth. The steppe elephant's closest relative is the indian elephant, which must've adapted to colder weather in order to take advantage of the vast dry grasslands of the Mammoth Steppe. Steppe elephants have a single lair of medium-length very dense fur and a thick layer of fat to keep them warm, unlike mammoths which have a double-coat of hair: coarse underhairs and long outer guard hairs. Their trunks are very powerful and dexterous, and are used mainly to pluck grass and shove it into their mouths. Steppe elephant teeth are well adapted to eating tough grass rather then softer leaves and shrubs. Their ears are smaller and their tails are shorter than in indian elephants in order to conserve heat. One of their most noticable features, however, are their tusks. These tusks are up to three times the length of an african elephant's tusks. But unlike the curved tusks of mammoths, steppe elephant tusks are quite a bit straighter. These tusks are used to dig for roots under the ground, but bulls, which have tusks twice as long as the females do, use them to fight rivals. Steppe elephants can weigh up to 7 tonnes.