12 feb. 2020
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. G. subtapiroideum was a large species of Gomphotherium that lived during the Miocene epoch of Eurasia. Some species had a very short tail that could indicate that it lived in colder climates. Therefore, it is not unthinkable that multiple species of Gomphotherium were covered in fur.
Chang & Zhai, 1978
Wang, S. Q., Duangkrayom, J., & Yang, X. W. (2015). Occurrence of the Gomphotherium angustidens group in China, based on a revision of Gomphotherium connexum (Hopwood, 1935) and Gomphotherium shensiensis Chang and Zhai, 1978: continental correlation of Gomphotherium species across the Palearctic. Paläontologische Zeitschrift, 89(4), 1073-1086.