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mastodon

mastodon (măs´tədŏn´), name for a number of prehistoric mammals of the extinct genus Mammut, from which modern elephants are believed to have developed. The earliest known forms lived in the Oligocene epoch in Africa. These were long-jawed mastodons about 41/2 ft (137 cm) high, with four tusks and a greatly elongated face. Their descendants in the Miocene epoch were the size of large elephants, the latest forms having long, flexible trunks, like those of elephants, and only two tusks. During Miocene times they spread over Europe, Asia, and North America. The mastodons were forest dwellers; they obtained their food by browsing and their teeth were more numerous and of a simpler form than those of the elephant. They were apparently extinct in the Old World by the early Pleistocene epoch but survived in North America until late Pleistocene times. They are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Proboscidae, family Mammutidae.

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mastodon

mastodon Any of several species of extinct elephantine mammals, all of which existed mainly in the Pleistocene epoch. Mastodons had a long coat of red hair; the grinding teeth were notably smaller and less complex than those of modern elephants, and the males had small tusks on the lower as well as the upper jaw. Genus Mastodon.

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mastodon

mas·to·don / ˈmastəˌdän/ • n. a large, extinct, elephantlike mammal (Mammutidae and other families, many species) of the Miocene to Pleistocene epochs, having teeth of a relatively primitive form and number.

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mastodon

mastodon extinct elephantine mammal having nipple-shaped tubercles on the molars. XIX. f. Gr. mastós breast + odðn, odont- TOOTH.

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mastodon

mastodon See GOMPHOTHERIIDAE; and MAMMUTIDAE.

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mastodon

mastodon (Mammut, Mastodon) See MAMMUTIDAE.

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mastodon

mastodon •radon • Chalcedon • Proudhon •Mogadon • pteranodon • iguanodon •mastodon • chiffon • Ctesiphon •bouffant • balafon • Xenophon •Bellerophon •argon, Sargon •Dagon • woebegone • bygone •doggone, logon •dodecagon • Dijon • demijohn • ancon •archon • racon • Comecon • emoticon •stereopticon • icon • walk-on • neocon •Yukon • zircon • salon • Fablon •decathlon • Teflon • Dralon • Simplon •Babylon • papillon • propylon •epsilon • nylon • Orlon •eidolon, roll-on, Solon •mouflon • Ascalon • Ashqelon •echelon • Avalon •gnomon, Jomon

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