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Temporal range: late Palaeocene – Recent
African Elephant by thesaint.jpg
African elephant
Scientific classification

Illiger, 1811

Proboscidea (meaning "trunked beast") is an order containing only one familiy of living animals, Elephantidae, the elephants, with three living species (African forest elephant, African bush elephant, and Asian elephant).[1]

During the period of the last ice age there were more species. They included a number of species of the elephant-like mammoths and mastodons.

The oldest proboscidean dates from the early Palaeogene period, over 50 million years ago. The evolution of the elephant-like animals mainly concerned the proportions of the cranium and jaw and the shape of the tusks and molar teeth. These were adaptations to various kinds of vegetable. food

Families[change | change source]

Present-day elephants are the survivors of a once larger and more varied family.

References[change | change source]

  1. ↑ Shoshani, Jeheskel; Wilson, Don E. and Reeder, DeeAnn M. (eds) 2005. Mammal species of the world. 3rd ed, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols, pp. 90-91. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0