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.
North America, Eurasia and Africa
Miocene to Pleistocene
The Gomphotherium-genus consists of over 20 species and were found across the Northern Hemisphere and Africa. The type species, G. angustidens, was also a widespread species found in Europe, the Middle East and Northern and Eastern Africa. It was a medium-sized species of about two meters high at the shoulders.
Eurasia and Africa
Shoshani, J., & Tassy, P. (Eds.). (1996). The Proboscidea: evolution and palaeoecology of elephants and their relatives (p. 472). Oxford: Oxford University Press.