Name: Palaeomastodon ‭(‬Ancient mastodon‭)‬.
Phonetic: Pay-lay-o-mas-toe-don.
Named By: Andrews‭ ‬-‭ ‬1901.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Mammalia,‭ ‬Eutheria,‭ ‬Afrotheria,‭ ‬Proboscidea.
Species: P.‭ ‬beadnelli,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬minor,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬parvus,‭ ‬P.‭ ‬wintoni.
Diet: Herbivore.
Size: ‬Uncertain.
Known locations: Egypt,‭ ‬Ethiopia‭ & ‬Saudi Arabia.
Time period: Throughout the Oligocene.
Fossil representation: Several individuals.

       Palaeomastodon is widely regarded as being one of the ancestors to modern day elephants.‭ ‬Remains of Palaeomastodon are usually just of skull and mandible fossils,‭ ‬but already the presence of two tusks in the upper jaw and attachment for a trunk can be clearly seen.‭ ‬Unfortunately no one knows exactly how long the trunk was,‭ ‬but it may have been shorter than the trunks of modern elephants since this concept actually fits in with other primitive elephant forms.‭
       One clear difference between Palaeomastodon and modern elephants however are the‭ ‬incisors of the lower jaw which point forwards out from the mouth.‭ ‬These incisors effectively form a scoop-like structure which was likely a feeding aid.‭ ‬How this worked is uncertain because although the popular perception is that it was used to scoop up plants,‭ ‬especially aquatic varieties,‭ ‬some later elephants like the gomphotheres‭ (‬those like Platybelodon and Gomphotherium etc.‭) ‬seemed to use their forward facing lower incisors to scrape bark off of trees.

Further reading
-‭ ‬The feeding habits of the shovel-tusked gomphotheres:‭ ‬evidence from tusk wear patterns,‭ ‬W.‭ ‬D.‭ ‬Lambert‭ ‬-‭ ‬1992.


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