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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a large unique group of extinct mammals of the order Proboscidea. The mastodonts lived in the late Paleocene and in the Anthropogenic period. In Europe and Asia they became extinct at the end of the Neocene, and in Africa and North America in the Anthropogenic period. The height of the animals ranged from 1.5 to 3.2 m.

A distinction is made between two groups of mastodonts: mastodonts in which the tooth crowns were composed of many individual conical cusps and mastodonts in which the tooth crowns were composed of transverse crests. Elephants are descended from the second group. The early mastodonts had a pair of tusks—actually enlarged incisors—in the upper and lower jaws. Later mastodonts had only one pair of tusks, in the upper jaw. As the mastodont evolved, its skeleton, including the skull, became increasingly more massive. Mastodonts constituted different ecotypes, inhabiting swamps, forests, and forest-steppes. Their remains in what is the now the USSR have been found in Kazakhstan, Middle Asia, and the Southern European part. Mastodonts are important for the stratigraphy of the continental deposits of the Cenozoic era.


Osnovy paleontologii: Mlekopitaiushchie. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Like many mastodonts recovered from the region, the Shafer specimen died over 10,000 ybp and was deposited in shallow aquatic sediments of lentic origin.
Except at the Pitt mastodont site, the pollen spectra associated with mastodonts in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio all contain at least 40% spruce and fir pollen.
Both Mason and Quimby believed that the early humans of the entire Great Lakes region hunted mastodonts, based on their observations that many of the fluted points in the southern part of the region were very similar to the Clovis points in the West used by human mammoth hunters.
Both tusks and cheek teeth develop in American mastodonts. The tusks are second incisors and are composed of dentine.
The mastodonts and mammoths that lived in Michigan played a role similar to that of the elephants and rhinos in modem Africa.
Material: one third of a skeleton that was combined with elements cast from other mastodonts to form a mounted skeleton now on exhibit at the Highland Lakes Campus of Oakland Community College.
Modern elephants, mastodonts, and mammoths depend on plants that are rich in potassium but not in sodium, thus they are prone to build up a sodium debt.
De acuerdo a Frassinetti y Alberdi (2000), todos los restos de mastodontes deben ser atribuidos al Pleistoceno final, aun cuando Casamiquela (1999) menciona la presencia de restos de mastodontes en sedimentos asignados al Pleistoceno inferior.
In the paper to follow he riot only reported mastodont remains from 36 Michigan counties but commented on mastodont remains discovered in the state before his time (Winchell 1861; Lane 1902,1906; Dice 1920; Hay 1923).