Pygmy Gomphothere

Gomphotherium (angustidens) pygmaeus

Resurrected on:

Genus information

Gomphotherium is an extinct relative of the modern elephant and lived during the Miocene and Pliocene epoch in North America, Eurasia and Africa. It resembled a modern-day elephant in appearance, but it had two longer tusks in its upper jaw and two small tusks in its elongated lower jaw. The lower tusks are shaped like a shovel and were probably used for digging up food from the ground. Also, its skull was more elongated and closer to the ground compared to elephants, fitting this feeding behaviour. Gomphotherium probably lived in swamps and wooded regions near lakes and rivers.

Family:

Distribution:

Epoch:

Gomphotheriidae

North America, Eurasia and Africa

Miocene to Pleistocene

Species information

There is still a lot of debate around the pygmy gomphotheres from the African continent, whether they are a true species, subspecies or even a valid taxon. Tassy et al. (2013) rejects the possibility of G. (angustidens) pygmaeus as a full taxon, while Sanders et al. (2011) demonstrates the validity of the species by presenting a peculiar combination of traits. Based on fossils referred to G. (angustidens) pygmaeus, the species lived during the early Miocene of Northern, Eastern and Southern Africa and stood only 1.5 meters high at the shoulders.

Species:

Paleontologist:

Distribution:

Epoch:

Gomphotherium (angustidens) pygmaeus

Depéret, 1897

Africa

Miocene

Length:

Height:

Weight:

2.5 m

1.5 m

2.000 kg

Reference:

Tassy, P., Goussard, F., & Sanz, M. G. (2013). The status of Mastodon angustidens pygmaeus Depéret, 1897 (Proboscidea, Mammalia): the contribution of X-ray tomography. Geobios, 46(4), 329-334.

Size comparison

Distribution map

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