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Proboscidea




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Proboscidea
Temporal range: late Palaeocene – Recent
African elephant
Scientific classification
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Proboscidea

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, now extinct species, including 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.

Families

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

References

  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.

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    ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0