6 jul. 2019
One of the largest relatives of the modern-day elephants are the stegodonts. Some Stegodon species are the biggest proboscideans that ever lived and stood four meters high at the shoulders and weighed about 13.000 kilograms. They ranged from Kenya to Japan and Indonesia between the Pliocene and Pleistocene epoch. Some believe that local populations survived until 4.100 years ago. Researchers once thought that stegodonts were the direct ancestors of modern-day elephants, but currently it is believed they have no modern descendants.
Asia and Africa
Miocene to Holocene
The genus Stegodon consists of 13 species of which S. zdanskyi is one of the biggest. S. zdanskyi is known from a 50+ year old male specimen from the Yellow River in China. The individual had a shoulder height of 3.87 m and weighed approximately 12.700 kg. Its pelvis alone was already 2 m in width!
Miocene to Pliocene
Larramendi, A. (2015). Shoulder height, body mass, and shape of proboscideans. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 61(3), 537-574.