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 ?
The Shafer Mastodont Locality is situated on the southwest edge of Cranberry Marsh that formed within a kettle depression (Fig.
Chronology: The most recent dated record is 11,460 [+ or -] 450 ybp (Bristol Fen), and the oldest dated record is 15,590 [+ or -] 60 ybp (Aker Mastodont Locality).
The majority of fossils, except a partial alligator skeleton (ET 5352) and Peterson's original mastodont skeleton (present location unknown), were disarticulated finds.
Bristol Pen, Elkhart County (Swinehart 1995); Christensen Mastodont Site, Hancock County (Whitehead et al.
In summary, the pollen data associated with all of the mastodont, mammoth, and musk ox sites reveal that the contemporaneous vegetation was most like that of modern areas considerably north of southern Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio localities.
Although this assumption was questioned by Cleland (1966), the term "Mason-Quimby Line" became a common one to depict the northern extent of all of the valid mastodont and mammoth records in the state as well as most of the Pleistocene human discoveries.
The earliest recorded proboscidean find in Michigan was an American mastodont tooth found in 1834 or 1835 along Rice Creek in Calhoun County (Skeels 1962).
The Mason-Quimby line discussed above marks the northern limit of mastodont and mammoth remains in Michigan and also most finds of Pleistocene human artifacts.
Remarks: this is very different type of Michigan site in that the matrix surrounding the mastodont was a sandy clay that could easily be washed through the screens for microvertebrate fossils, three of which were found (white sucker,?
Later, Quimby (1960) stated that the distribution of fluted points and known mastodont remains in Michigan was related to the probability that early humans hunted these proboscideans.
Saunders (1977) used terms to indicate specific lophs of mastodont teeth: Protoloph, Metaloph, Tritoloph, Tetartoloph, and Pentaloph indicate the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth lophs respectively.
Mammoths, mastodonts, and elephants: biology, behavior, and the fossil record.