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 ?
Field procedures.--Only a few fragments of mastodont bone at the Shafer Locality were found in situ; the remainder was disturbed by excavating.
Chronology: The oldest dated record is 15,540 [+ or -] 70 ybp (Shafer Mastodont Locality).
The remains of the Cohoes Mastodont were uncovered by workmen digging the foundation for a mill on the west bank of the Hudson River, just north of Albany.
Mammut is often reconstructed as a browser in open spruce-dominated forests; however, stomach contents of a mastodont from Licking County, Ohio consisted largely of nonconiferous flora (Lepper et al.
Comments: Other macroscopic subfossil records of the genus Potamogeton from Indiana include Prairie Creek Site, Daviess County (Whitehead & Jackson, n.d.); Blueberry Bog and Bristol Fen, Elkhart County (Swinehart 1995; Swinehart & Parker 2000); Christensen Mastodont Site, Hancock County (Whitehead et al.
San Pedro Sula: Lucas & Alvarado (1991a) documented a right M3 of the American mastodont, Mammut americanum, from San Pedro Sula in northern Honduras.
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.
It is thought that the American Mastodont, Mammut americanum (Kerr), became extinct about 10,000 years ago (Meltzer and Mead 1983), soon after the major climactic shift to early postglacial conditions.
Vegetational and climatic history of the Crystal Lake area and Eldridge Mastodont site, Montcalm County, Michigan.
The present paper details these recent finds and provides new comments about the significance of the "Mason-Quimby Line," a line that marks the northern limit of mastodont and mammoth distribution in Michigan, as well as most of the Paleoindian fluted points in the state (Dorr and Eschman 1971).
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).
Early reports of human butchery of mastodonts, such as that of the Rappuhn mastodont in southeastern Michigan (Wittry 1965), have not been widely accepted (Shott and Wright 1999).