mastodon

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mastodon

(măs`tədŏn'), name for a number of prehistoric mammals of the extinct genus Mammut, from which modern elephants are believed to have developed. The earliest known forms lived in the Oligocene epoch in Africa. These were long-jawed mastodons about 4 1-2 ft (137 cm) high, with four tusks and a greatly elongated face. Their descendants in the Miocene epoch were the size of large elephants, the latest forms having long, flexible trunks, like those of elephants, and only two tusks. During Miocene times they spread over Europe, Asia, and North America. The mastodons were forest dwellers; they obtained their food by browsing and their teeth were more numerous and of a simpler form than those of the elephant. They were apparently extinct in the Old World by the early Pleistocene epoch but survived in North America until late Pleistocene times. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Proboscidae, family Mammutidae.

mastodon

[′mas·tə‚dän]
(paleontology)
A member of the Mastodontidae, especially the genus Mammut.

mastodon

similar to the elephant, the mastodon is now extinct. [Ecology: Hammond, 290]

mastodon

any extinct elephant-like proboscidean mammal of the genus Mammut (or Mastodon), common in Pliocene times
References in periodicals archive ?
Ancient North America's Clovis people, known as mammoth and mastodon hunters of the Great Plains, may have started out as gomphothere hunters of northwestern Mexico.
Cerros Negros is the second reported locality for mammoths, as well as the first reported locality for mastodons, from the central portion of the San Pedro River valley.
According to a team of archaeologists at the Texas A and M University, the tip of a bone point fragment found embedded in a mastodon rib from an archaeological site in Washington state shows that hunters were present in North America at least 800 years before Clovis.
Summary: A bone fragment at least 13,000 years old, with the carved image of a mammoth or mastodon, has been discovered in Florida.
The West Runton Elephant was compared with other mammoths, modern elephants and mastodons.
Even the northerners laughed, stopping their mastodons short and pounding each other on the chest, offering the sleek skymen bushels of oats, tub-sized skins of mastodon milk.
Mammoths and mastodons were wonderfully successful creatures of the Ice Age.
Mastodons are members of the extinct genus "Mammut" of the order Proboscidea and form the family Mammutidae; they resembled, but were distinct from, the woolly mammoth, which belongs to the family Elephantidae.
The Mastodons (23-7) advanced to their first title game and will meet UC Irvine, which defeated Penn State 3-1 by scores of 30-25, 30-22, 26-30, 30-23, in Saturday's championship match.
Museum scientists have been researching the natural world for more than 135 years, and currently travel the world on 100 field expeditions each year, studying everything from mastodons to meteorites.
Mastodons no longer exist, but their fossils provide glimpses of how they once lived.
Maxine Kumin's MITES TO MASTODONS (0618507531, $16.