Elephants are mammals, and the largest land animals alive today. The elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal. At birth it is common for an elephant calf to weigh 265 lb (120 kg). An elephant may live as long as 70 years, sometimes longer. The largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1956. It was male and weighed about 26,400 lb (12,000 kg), with a shoulder height of 13.8 ft (4.2m), 3 ft 4 in (a meter) taller than the average male African elephant. The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric variant that lived on the island of Crete until 5000 BC, possibly 3000 BC.

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