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Temporal range: Middle MioceneEarly Pleistocene
Illustration of Deinotherium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Proboscidea
Suborder: Deinotheroidea
Family: Deinotheriidae
Genus: Deinotherium
Kaup, 1829

Deinotherium was a large proboscidean related to modern elephants. Their shorted trunk and downward curving tusks are notable.

There were several species of Deinotherium that inhabited parts of Africa, Asia and Europe. The Deinotherium was larger than today’s elephants.

The way Deinotherium used its curious tusks has been much debated. It may have rooted in soil for underground plant parts like roots and tubers, pulled down branches to snap them and reach leaves, or stripped soft bark from tree trunks.[1] Deinotherium fossils have been uncovered at several of the African sites where remains of prehistoric hominid relatives of modern humans have also been found.

References[change | change source]

  1. Harris, J.M. 1976. Evolution of feeding mechanisms in the family Deinotheriidae (Mammalia: Proboscidea). Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 56: 331-362