African elephants have ears shaped like the continent of Africa.
To the untrained eye, African and Asian elephants can be indistinguishable, but there are key physical features that make these two species relatively easy to tell apart. The most noticeable physical differences can be seen in the ears, tusks and head shapes of the two species, according to The Elephant Sanctuary, a natural-habitat refuge for endangered elephants located in Hohenwald, Tenn. African elephants have large ears, shaped much like the continent of Africa itself. The larger surface area of their ears helps to keep African elephants cool in the blazing African sun. Asian elephants have less to worry about heat-wise, as they tend to live in cool jungle areas, so their ears are smaller.