One astute elephant observer noted that "the ears of Asian elephants are shaped like India, and African elephants like Africa!" The ears of African elephants are much larger than those of Asian elephants, and the ears of the African bush elephants are larger than those of the forest elephants. African elephants cool themselves off by fanning with their ears and, conversely, in extreme cold elephants must increase their activity level to produce enough body heat to prevent their ears being frostbitten. Elephants have a keen sense of hearing, and spread their ears wide to pick up distant sounds; the spread-out ears also intimidate enemies by making the elephants appear larger.
Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Electrophoresis (cataphoresis) to EphemeralElephant - Evolution, Body, Limbs, Head, Mouth And Trunk, Teeth, Ears, Group Structure - Eyes, Social behavior, Death