Phonetic: Mam-mu-fus troe-gon-fee-ree.
Named By: Pohlig - 1885.
Synonyms: Mammuthus armeniacus.
Classification: Chordata, Mammalia, Proboscidea, Elephantidae, Mammuthus.
Species: M. trogontherii.
Size: Up to 4.7 meters high at the shoulder for the largest known female. Males presumed to be slightly bigger like in other species.
Known locations: Across Eurasia.
Time period: Ionian of the Pleistocene.
Fossil representation: Multiple specimens, but often partial and incomplete.
trogontherii, better known as the steppe mammoth, holds
important place for those who study mammoths as it is often treated as
a link between the early M.
meridionalis known as the southern
mammoth and the later M.
primigenius, more famously known as the
woolly mammoth. M. trogontherii however was
larger than both its
ancestor and descendent which suggests that a larger size was more
suitable for its period of the Pleistocene than the times preceding and
leading on from it.
With large female specimens being gauged at four hundred and seventy centimetres high, M. trogontherii is one of the larger mammoths known to have existed, with only M. imperator and M. sungari being slightly larger. However the latter M. sungari is today treated as a dubious species of mammoth, with a 2010 analysis by Wei et al. suggesting that the remains attributed to this species are actually those of M. trogontherii and M. primigenius. Special reference for this includes a five hundred and thirty centimetre high composite skeleton of a M. sungari that the study considers to be directly atributable to M. trogontherii. If true then the upper size limit of M. trogontherii may increase to match and possibly even exceed that of M. imperator, making the steppe mammoth possibly one of the largest currently known mammoths.
Steppe mammoths are known to have ranged across most of Eurasia wherever there was open plains habitat to support the growth of grasses that seem to have been the plants of choice for mammoths. Like with others of its kind, the steppe mammoth had large broad teeth that were perfect for grinding large amounts of grasses that would have been required to keep its massive body going. The tusks of the steppe mammoth could grow as long as five hundred and twenty centimetres, although these tusks were strongly curved and as a result would not project out for this distance. The tusks of bull (male) steppe mammoths seem to have been the most elaborate with the tips curving round so much that they would begin to point back towards the body.