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Hadoop: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition by Tom White

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Colophon

The animal on the cover of Hadoop: The Definitive Guide is an African elephant. These members of the genus Loxodonta are the largest land animals on Earth (slightly larger than their cousin, the Asian elephant) and can be identified by their ears, which have been said to look somewhat like the continent of Asia. Males stand 12 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 12,000 pounds, but they can get as big as 15,000 pounds, whereas females stand 10 feet tall and weigh 8,000–11,000 pounds. Even young elephants are very large: at birth, they already weigh approximately 200 pounds and stand about 3 feet tall.

African elephants live throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the continent’s elephants live on savannas and in dry woodlands. In some regions, they can be found in desert areas; in others, they are found in mountains.

The species plays an important role in the forest and savanna ecosystems in which they live. Many plant species are dependent on passing through an elephant’s digestive tract before they can germinate; it is estimated that at least a third of tree species in west African forests rely on elephants in this way. Elephants grazing on vegetation also affect the structure of habitats and influence bush fire patterns. For example, under natural conditions, elephants make gaps through the rainforest, enabling the sunlight to enter, which allows the growth of various plant species. This, in turn, facilitates more abundance and more diversity of smaller animals. As a result ...

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